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SAICA latest to realise safety benefits of Blank-it

We are pleased to announce that another large-fleet company has recognised the benefits of Blank-it in the fight against driver/operator distraction.SAICA | Blank IT

SAICA Pack, part of the SAICA international group, have purchased over 300 Blank-it units for use in their fleets of fork-lift vehicles servicing SAICA Pack warehouse and distribution facilities across the UK & Europe.

We would like to thank SAICA for their pro-active approach to workplace safety.

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary concern for operators of fleets of all sizes, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it is built 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 and is customisable for different working environments to help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

 

Blank-it Featured in Electricity Today Magazine

Blank-it and our solution partners Motion Computing have been featured in a great article in ‘Electricity Today‘ magazine.

The article, “Distracted Driving Equals Disaster” explains in detail the dangers of driver distraction for Utility companies everywhere.

Backed up with statistics and in-depth analysis, it goes on to cover measures Utility companies can take to address this dangerous and potentially very expensive problem.

Solutions discussed include the use of Blank-it to manage in-vehicle computer use and thus reduce the risks associated with driver distraction.

We think this is a “must read” article for any company in the Utility sectors.

 

Read the article online here:  Distracted Driving Equals Disaster

 

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).

https://www.xploretech.com/

Blank-it safety in motion

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

 

Transportation Apps – Can They Compromise Safety?

By Ed Brown as Edbrown05 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia CommonsWe came across an interesting blog post on Governing.com – which takes a close look at Apps which are marketed as Transportation or Traffic aids, with particular emphasis on the ‘Waze‘ App.

The post raises some pertinent questions regarding the use of these apps when driving and the possible distraction impact.

Regarding the Apps’ usage, the author writes:

Most surprisingly, at one point, an alert popped up on the screen asking me to confirm whether another driver’s report of a red light camera in my vicinity was accurate. I almost rear ended someone when I glanced to check the message and enter a reply. As one critical writer put it, “Practically everything about the application is designed — even if not intentionally — to distract.”

The reports goes on to discuss potential liability issues:

Waze’s terms of service that say “it is strictly forbidden to send traffic updates … while driving. Such updates may only be sent after you have stopped your vehicle in an appropriate location permitted by law.” But, frankly, that seems like it may be lip service to the idea of safety. After all, it’s hard to imagine any drivers will achieve Waze’s goal of saving 10 minutes a day if they pull over every time they want to report an accident. Moreover, the app prevents text inputs when the car is moving, but to override it, drivers just have to indicate they’re a passenger.

Indeed, some have wondered if Waze or its users could be opening themselves to liability, given that it encourages participation through a points system. One blogger has suggested Waze should pay particularly close attention to an August New Jersey appeals court ruling that found the sender of a text message who knows his recipient is texting and driving can potentially be liable for causing a distraction.

Read the full article here: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/col-transportation-apps-waze-compromise-safety.html
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.

 

 

 

Distracted Driving in the News – Jan 2014

The driver distraction issue received some prominent coverage in the Australian media in January.

Today Tonight

Channel Seven’s ‘Today Tonight‘ program aired a feature on distraction, incorporating some interesting driving simulator footage showing the effects of various types of distraction.

See the accompanying article here: http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/latest/article/-/20893186/texting-drivers-put-to-the-test/

News Exchange

Also, national broadcaster ABC’s “News Exchange” program broadcast an in-depth segment on driver distraction and new technology in vehicles.

You can see the program using the link below – the segment in  question starts approximately 12 minutes into the program.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-24/news-exchange-driver-distractions-sochi-uniforms/5218502

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.

“Do as I Say, Not as I Do” Culture Persists, says AAA

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released its annual Traffic Safety Culture report and, again, Driver distraction is one of the major areas of concern. Two key points from the report are shown below:

“Do as I Say, Not as I Do”

Distracted driving remains a concern among the American public in 2013, with 88% of survey respondents saying distracted drivers are a bigger problem today compared to three years ago. Additionally, the threat perceived from distracted driving also remains high, with 89% of licensed drivers saying drivers talking on cell phones pose a threat to their personal safety. When asked about motorists who text or email, or who check social media, drivers report feeling an even bigger danger, with 96% saying these behaviors constituted a threat.

However, the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude identified in previous years persists in 2013, with perceived threats and social disapproval not fully translating to on-the-road behavioral choices. A percentage nearly identical (67.3%) to the proportion of drivers who disapprove of hand-held cell phone use admits to talking on the phone (of any kind) while driving in the past 30 days. Moreover, over a quarter say this happened fairly often or regularly.

For texting and emailing, more than a third of licensed drivers admit to reading messages in the past 30 days, and a quarter typed or sent them.

Perception of “Hands Free” as “Risk Free”

The 2013 survey responses indicate that the general public continues to believe that hands-free technologies are safer than their hand-held counterparts; is more likely to find their use acceptable compared with the use of hand-held devices; and is less supportive of countermeasures that restrict their use by drivers than of efforts to limit hand-held devices behind the wheel.

This general public perception has been matched by a proliferation of increasingly-sophisticated speech-based infotainment and communications systems in new  vehicles – many of which are marketed as safe by virtue of being hands-free – as well as a lack of legislative or regulatory action against driver use of  hands-free technologies. However, as we have reported previously, a study by the AAA Foundation and the University of Utah and other studies, challenged the public perception, and concluded that “hands-free” doesn’t mean “risk-free” due to the effects of cognitive distraction.

To view the whole report, see here.

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.

 

State Laws Regarding Use of Video Displays in the Car

We came across a very useful resource provided by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)  regarding use of video display devices in the vehicle.

This resource from the CEA pulls together information about each U.S. State’s laws regarding use of electronic/video displays in the car. For the most part, most probably due to historical reasons, these refer to ‘video’ displays in the context of TV transmissions but obviously the same dangers (and more) are posed by the driver’s use of computers – which is just the issue Blank-it is designed to address.

Here are a few examples from the list:

  • District of Columbia: “No television equipment shall be installed in or on any motor vehicle in a manner which will make the reception of the television visible to the vehicle operator while the vehicle is in motion.”
  • Florida: “No motor vehicle operated on the highways of this state shall be equipped with television-type receiving equipment so located that the viewer or screen is visible from the driver’s seat.”
  • Maine: “A person may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with a television viewer, screen or other means of visually receiving a television broadcast that is visible to the operator. This section does not apply to a law enforcement officer using a video camera or other video equipment for law enforcement purposes.”
  • New Jersey: “It shall be unlawful to operate upon any public highway a motor vehicle which is equipped with or in which is located a television set so placed that the viewing screen thereof is visible to the driver while operating such vehicle.”

See the full CEA resource here: http://www.ce.org/Consumer-Info/Car-Electronics/Got-It/State-Laws-for-Electronics-Use-in-the-Car.aspx

Most of the emphasis on driver distraction policies and laws to date has been on the use of cellphones, but we have consistently stressed the similar dangers posed by computer use in the vehicle.

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.

 

For the Better – The World’s First Attention Powered Car

The RAC in Western Australia have launched a new campaign to target Distracted Driving.

The campaign, called “For The Better“, has its own website and series of videos following the progress of a very interesting project – the World’s first “Attention Powered Car”.

As their website states:

WA has the worst road state fatality rate in Australia, but we used to have one of the best. Did you know one of the biggest and least talked about killers on our roads is driver inattention? To do something about it, RAC created the world’s first Attention Powered Car. But you can only learn so much on a test track, so we took the car on a road trip through southern WA and the Wheatbelt with nine local drivers to test the road safety issue of inattention. This was the world’s longest inattention road test at over 1,100 kilometres. But this is just the beginning for the Attention Powered Car – we have finished the road trip, but now will conduct further experiments at the RAC Driving Centre to really delve into specific inattention issues and start testing some solutions. 

You can watch the series of videos following this experiment here: http://forthebetter.com.au/

More information about distraction legislation in WA can be found here: http://www.ors.wa.gov.au/Road-Safety-Topics/Road-Issues/Distractions.aspx

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.

 

NSW Distraction Related Crashes Double in Decade

fatal-distraction-01The drive.com.au site reports that  the number of crashes on NSW roads in which driver distraction was a factor has doubled in less than a decade.

The article appeared after 7 people were killed over 12 hours on NSW roads. Police believe that 6 of those crashes were caused by human error, including one where the driver was reportedly on the phone.

Mike Regan, from the University of NSW Transport and Road Safety group, said attention was increasingly being shifted from the road:

There are more technologies in cars which drivers are interacting with – that’s leading to distractions

According to the Centre for Road Safety, in 2011, drivers distracted by something inside their cars were a contributing factor in 1,585 crashes, compared with 748 in 2004. Over 900 of those accidents in 2011 resulted in injury.

Talking about the increasing integration of technology in cars, Professor Regan said:

We have new ways of a mobile phone connecting with cars that may cause more distractions than a hand-held phone itself

Lauchlan McIntosh, from the Australasian College of Road of Road Safety, said it was difficult to legislate against driver distraction and there should be more investment in solutions that disable devices when cars are moving.

A report by a State Parliament committee on road safety this year recommended better testing of electronic devices for driver distraction effects, and more enforcement of rules relating to in-car technologies.

 

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.