Cogosense Blog

Cogosense's Driver Behaviour Blog

Technology Can Fix What It Broke

A great blog post by a master marketeer, Seth Godin, today. He comments on the unlikelihood of emotional appeals, such as the recent Werner Herzog short film, to change deeply entrenched values and behaviours in our culture:

  • The culture of the car as a haven, a roving office, and a place
    where you do what you like
  • The culture of the Marlboro man, no speed limiters in cars,
    'optional' speed limits on roads
  • The culture of connection and our fear of being left out
  • The culture of technology, and our bias to permit it first
    and ask questions later

He notes that part of the solution could be notifying others of a driver's status as they could be held liable for knowingly causing dangerous distractions. However, he summarizes the most "inexpensive, fast and effective" solution perfectly:

... when a phone is moving, don't permit it to accomplish certain tasks.

People won't die as a result.

It won't cost the companies a penny in profit.

And defenders of the status quo will scream about freedom and access and rights and how it used to be. They will worry about people on trains or passengers in carpools.

But you know what? It's better than being dead. Better than being the victim of the one out of three drivers I see who couldn't wait ...

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Learning Occurs Through Recognition Of Error

"Learning occurs through recognition of error". It is a simple precept. Yet, the recent train wreck in Spain that killed 79 people is a tragic reminder that human behaviour is sometimes very difficult to modify despite the recognition of error.

Stemming from the 2008 train accident in California that killed 25 people and injured 135 others and the irrefutable research regarding the dangers of distraction due to mobile device use while operating motor vehicles, mobile device use policies are increasingly common across corporate America.

However, leaders in safety are well aware that paper policies and education related to mobile device use in vehicles are not enough. Safety audits and primary research results show that policy infractions invariably reach 100% of employees when measured over a 30-60 day period.

Technology safety solutions can help us address the problems that the pervasive use of mobile products has created. Policy conformance and enforcement tools can assist employees in adhering to policies and can help mitigate a major source of risk and liability for corporations.

Our goal at Aegis is help create a safer environment for employees and the public at large. Call us to schedule a demo today.

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Mobile Device Use Causes More Accidents Than Reported

Earlier this month, our partner, the National Safety Council (NSC), issued a press release announcing a white paper and infographic which they have published that describes the under-reporting of distracted driving accidents due to mobile device use.

b2ap3_thumbnail_NSC-logo-blog.pngThis is a critical issue because the official state records drive awareness, legislation, funding and solutions.

For our part, Aegis is advancing the knowledge of causality in motor vehicle accidents by working with corporations, government departments, insurance providers and law enforcement agencies to collect and analyze real empirical data. Such data will better inform our understanding of risk and prevention.

Interested organizations are invited to contact us to participate in data collection and analysis studies based upon Aegis' industry-leading software solutions for the prevention of distracted driving.

Let's all work together to make our roadways safer.

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Center For Disease Control (CDC) Update On Mobile Device Use While Driving

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is one of the pre-eminent organizations worldwide dedicated to creating the expertise, information and tools that people and communities need to protect their health.

The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of March 15, 2013 (Vol. 62/No. 10) features an update on distracted driving with the key findings that:

  • Road traffic crashes are a global public health problem, contributing to an estimated 1.3M deaths annually
  • Mobile device use while driving has become an increasing concern
  • Within the United States, approximately 2 out of every 3 drivers admit to talking on their cell phones while driving and nearly 1/3 admit to texting or emailing while driving in the last 30 days

The CDC recommends that emerging vehicle and mobile communication technologies be studied to assess their role in reducing crashes related to distracted driving.

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Technology Helping Technology

In the March 6 Issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 309, No.9), authors Jeffrey H. Cohen, MD and Motao Zhu, MD, PhD put forth, in their article Keeping an Eye on Distracted Driving, the argument that: 

  • Fatalities associated with distracted driving due to mobile device use continue to increase
  • Education and legislation are failing to solve the problem despite concerted effort and expense

Education, alone, rarely leads to behavioural change. The authors note, "As individuals continue to use their cell phones nearly continuously throughout the day, for both business and pleasure, they will continue to be tempted to use this technology - if available - while driving."

Similarly, legislation that cannot be practically implemented by law enforcement personnel is unlikely to be a deterrent. The authors observe, "Simply banning handheld cell phone use while driving, without providing law enforcement with an easy method of detecting such use, is akin to banning drunk driving without using breathalyzers or sobriety tests to detect violators." The difficulties of detecting unlawful use and the scarcity of police resources make it unlikely that law enforcement will place a high priority on apprehending violators of legislative bans.

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The authors' central thesis is that "Cell phone use while driving is a problem that has been created by technology, and solving this problem will require technological solutions."

Authors Cohen and Zhu conclude, "Failure to act in this manner [failure to implement technology solutions] will result in the continued loss of thousands of lives each year to this preventable public safety hazard. In the era of smartphones and smart cars, it is time to be smarter about keeping them apart from one another."

At Aegis, we could not agree more and have created the industry's broadest portfolio of solutions to automatically detect when mobile devices are in a driving state and to implement policy controls which ensure the safe and legal use of such devices while driving.

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