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Blank-it Featured on Xplore Technologies Blog

Xplore Technologies talk about the Blank-it distracted driving solution on their “Rugged XPlore Blog”.

In the article, Bob Ashenbrenner discusses the various in-vehicle distractions that drivers are subjected to and the responsibilities that employers have to keep their workforce safe on the road.

As Bob says:

So what if I told you that devices could actually eliminate our distraction from devices? Seems ironic, sure. But the fact is that your field service workers spend a majority of their time on the road in your service vehicle. They have tablets or other devices mounted practically in front of their face and it’s human nature to want to look at what’s on that screen. You have a responsibility to keep them safe on your watch, so why not fight fire with better fire and install a “Blank-it” type software coupled with motion-detecting vehicle docks on all your devices that absolutely shouldn’t be in use while driving? That protects them, you and everyone else on the road from the consequences of distracted driving.

Bob also refers to an earlier article from Motion Computing, a PDF version of which can be viewed here – Taking Aim Against Distracted Driving.

See the XPlore Blog article here

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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 is designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OHS requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).
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A Distracted Driving Crash Investigation

We thought this was an interesting video to post. It follows the progress of a U.K.Police investigation into the cause of a horrific accident which involved in-cab distraction.

The video begins with a view and description of the crash scene, and shows the awful damage caused to one of the vehicles involved.

It then goes on to trace the Police investigation as it became clear that distraction caused by using a mobile device was a major factor in the crash.

This is just one example of these distraction-related crashes, but it gives a good insight into the investigation process and also the sometimes tragic consequences of driver distraction.

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 customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

 

VW’s Clever Texting and Driving Ad

Various governments, transport and health departments etc have produced campaigns to highlight the dangers of distracted driving, a few of which we’ve highlighted in the past.

Now Volkswagen have just released a very clever campaign of their own which is probably the best example we’ve seen so far of demonstrating just how dangerous distraction can be.

To set the exercise up, Volkswagen took a crowd of people to a movie viewing and obtained their mobile phone numbers as they entered. Before the expected movie was shown, the screen displayed  a ‘first-person’ view of someone starting a car and driving on a rural road. The audience have no idea what they’re watching but they are looking at the screen to see what will happen next.

Then, the organisers used location-based messaging to send everyone in the cinema a text. Nearly everyone takes their eyes off the screen to read the text message.

Watch the video to see what happened next.


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 customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

Distracted Driving – Legislation Is Not Enough

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.Motion | Blank IT

Harm Reduction

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.

Read the article here: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/harm+reduction+agenda+distracted+driving/9757133/story.html

Lip Service

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.

Read the article: http://readwrite.com/2014/04/30/distracted-driving-lip-service-solution#awesm=~oDx9aA8A8hfz1V

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.

 

 

 

Distracted Driving Headline Statistics

We regularly quote distracted driving facts and figures from official studies and reports but it’s easy to get a bit ‘relaxed’ about these numbers, lose them in the mass of information or fail to appreciate the dangers these numbers represent.

So – we thought it was a good time to present some raw numbers in an easily digestible form – something to really press home the key statistics and their implications:
Drivers engaged in text messaging on a cellular phone are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event compared with non-distracted drivers.
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2010.

84 per cent of distracted-driving-related fatalities in the US were tied to the general classification of carelessness or inattentiveness. U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009

80 per cent of collisions and 65 per cent of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors. U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010

Distracted drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers. Alberta Transportation, 2011

Driver distraction is a factor in four million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year. Government of Canada

Economic losses caused by traffic collision-related health care costs and lost productivity are at least $10 billion annually in Canada alone. That’s about 1 per cent of Canada’s GDP. Government of Canada

In 2010, distracted driving was a contributing factor in 104 collision fatalities in British Columbia. RCMP

80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors. U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety

 

Are Your Mobile Workers Safe?

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.

While the Blank-it solution is aimed at managing the use of vehicle-mounted computers, we are also well aware of the distraction dangers posed by the use of mobile phones.

Dangers

Research suggests that both the physical and cognitive distraction caused by using mobile phones while driving can significantly impair a driver’s visual search patterns, reaction times, decision-making processes and their ability to maintain speed, throttle control and lateral position on the road.*

Blank-it & Fleetsafer

Blank-it has teamed up with Aegis Mobility to provide your workers with the ultimate safety tool for preventing mobile phone driver distraction.

Introducing Fleetsafer® – software for smartphones and tablets that detects driving state and automatically puts the device in “safe mode” while driving. In safe mode a “curtain” blocks access to the keyboard and screen. All notifications and alerts are silenced – including incoming calls, texts and emails.

When the device detects that it is stationary full functionality is returned to the user.

Find out more about this comprehensive and vital software for the safety of your enterprise workers.

*Monash University Accident Research Center – Report #206 – 2003
Authors: K. Young, M. Regan & M. Hammer

Google Lobbying Against Distraction Legislation?

Reuters.com reports that Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the emerging wearable technology.

The article describes how a number of U.S. states are considering regulating use of Google Glass and similar technology by drivers, although none have passed any such legislation yet.

It goes on to state:

Google Inc has deployed lobbyists to persuade elected officials in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri that it is not necessary to restrict use of Google Glass behind the wheel, according to state lobbying disclosure records and interviews conducted by Reuters.

The report quotes Delaware state Rep. Joseph Miro as saying:

“I’m not against Google or Google Glass. It may have a place in society, My issue is that while you are driving, you should have nothing that is going to impede the concentration of the driver.”

According to Reuters, Google advises people to abide by any applicable local laws that limit use of mobile devices while driving.

An additional issue related to devices such as Google Glass concerns law enforcement officers being able to prove that the equipment was actually operating at the time a driver was pulled over.

To sum up: This is emerging technology that adds further complexity to the whole Distracted Driving problem.

See the Reuters article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-google-glass-lobbying-idUSBREA1O0P920140225

 

LaHood Still Weighing in on Distracted Driving

man-with-laptop-in-car-4As the New York Times reports, ex-Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is still vocal about the dangers of distracted driving and the seeming reluctance of auto-manufacturers to fully commit to reducing distraction in the vehicle.

In an interview in July, LaHood said that car companies and technology companies must wake up to the deadly dangers their products can pose. He also made a point that voice-recognition systems for cars do not meet his standard for safety. There has been an industry ‘push’into those technologies, asserting that they are a safer alternative than using a hand-held phone, but some safety advocates disagree, as we have reported previously.

Mr. LaHood said he wants to see the technology and car industries be part of sending the message to consumers about the risks. We need to get that same kind of commitment from the tech industry. They’re not there yet, and neither are the car companies. They have to be part of the solution.

For now, Mr. LaHood said, they are often part of the problem in two ways: by building technology for cars that takes drivers away from the task of driving, and by glorifying the idea that it’s fashionable, even important, to be connected all the time.

His comments highlight one of the major problems with Distracted Driving. Polls show that drivers know using a cellphone or other electronic device behind the wheel is a risk, but that they do it anyway.

The responsibility of car companies, he said, should not be to create a cool factor around dangerous technologies.

It’s expensive technology, and only people of means can afford it but it lends legitimacy to everyone else who can only afford a BlackBerry or cellphone to say: “if you’re putting it in the car for these folks, then I can use mine.”

The solutions involve having tough laws, tough enforcement of those laws and public service messages that reinforce the legal risks, plus personal responsibility. On top of that, effective policies at a company level, and technology itself must form an important part of any effective solution.

Mr. LaHood said he would like to see tech and car companies disable the functions that are not directly related to driving when the car is in motion.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/lahood-says-companies-must-wake-up-to-distracted-driving/?_r=2

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 customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Driver Distraction Blamed For 7.3 Million Red-Light Violations

traffic-light-image-01Autoblog.com reports on a new study commissioned by the National Coalition for Safer Roads and FocusDriven. The study found that approximately 12 percent of red light violations are caused by distracted driving.

The research looked at 118 intersections in 19 communities over a three-month time span. After reviewing stoplight camera images from those intersections, researchers found that roughly 12 percent could be attributed to distracted driving. Extrapolating that evidence to the US at large, the two safety organizations claim distracted driving could be responsible for as many as 7.3 million red light infractions across the United states in 2012.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has said drivers running red lights is the leading cause of accidents in urban settings. Combined with the fact that the National Safety Council has highlighted cell phone use as a factor in 21 percent of all crashes and it’s easy to see need for action to address driver distraction.

See more here: www.StopDistractionOnRed.org

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 customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

 

Survey Says Driver Safety Tops Fleet Manager Priority List

Automotive Fleet has reported on a survey carried out by GE Capital Fleet Services. The survey found that safety is now the top priority for many fleet managers, with 36% saying it is their biggest concern.

GE said this is a shift since last year, when only 23% of respondents cited driver safety as their top concern and 26% cited cost savings as their top priority.

“Even as fleet managers remain sharply focused on cost savings, more of them are making safety and well-being of their drivers a top priority,” said Mark Hayes, chief marketing officer of GE Capital Fleet Services.

The survey did not specifically ask fleet managers how they address or intend to address various driver safety concerns.

See article here
At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for operators of fleets of all sizes, and 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 customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.