We have often stated our belief that legislation and education on their own aren’t enough to address the problem of phone or computer related driver distraction. Technology HAS to form part of the solution – and two recent articles only add weight to our argument.
In the Ottawa Citizen, Steve LaFleur argues that legislation and associated punishment can only be effective as one part of a wider approach to the distracted driving issue – an approach that also has to include education and technology.
In fact, the article goes further and makes the point that legislation on its own is in fact detrimental as drivers engage in ever more dangerous practices to avoid police officers on the lookout for cellphone users.
On ReadWrite.com, Bradley Berman makes a similar point in a different way. His article bemoans the “half-hearted” approach to legislation, poor driver attitudes and a general unwillingness on the part of manufacturers to provide effective solution.
Berman describes his largely unsuccessful attempts to address the problem of cellphone distraction using currently available apps, noting that much of the problem revolves around the ‘voluntary’ nature of most products.
Given the sorry state of distracted driving technology, you have to be extremely motivated to use these apps. The Distracted Driving Foundation lists about 25 apps on its website—there are a few more on Apple’s App Store—but I couldn’t find a single one that was easy to use. Most were either defunct, required onerous sign-up processes, asked for subscription plans, or simply didn’t work as advertised.
The patchy effectiveness of these products, together with a general unwillingness of drivers to be part of the solution brings us back to the point we are making – that technology HAS to be a key part of the answer to distracted driving and that voluntary/opt-in models are not sufficient.
At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.
Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customizable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.