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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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Police in-vehicle Laptop use and Driver Distraction

Police use of in-vehicle laptops and the related driver distraction has been featured a number of times in this blog.

A recent item on the Today.com website puts this issue in the spotlight again, with increasing evidence of the number of distraction-related accidents where police use of an in-vehicle computer is involved.

It is interesting that the distracted driving issue is now making it into mainstream media such as the Today show. It really starts to bring the problem forward and centre where it should be.

Bryan Vila, a professor at Washington State University in Spokane, is one of the world’s leading experts on distracted police driving. He put Today’s reporter behind the wheel in the driving simulator he uses to monitor officers’ eye movement and reaction time.

Once use of an on-board computer was added to the simulation, the reporter ran off the road. Review showed that his eyes were off the road, looking at the computer screen, for almost four seconds. “That’s enough to cause a hell of an accident,” Vila said.

Some police departments across the country are trying to address the issue in fairly basic ways. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, police officers’ in-car computer won’t allow them to keep typing after going 10 to 15 miles per hour. And in Fort Worth, Texas, officers aren’t allowed to use their computers at all while driving, unless it’s an emergency.

More sophisticated solutions are required however, to allow Police Officers to perform their duties effectively without endangering the lives of other road users.

“We believe that with Blank-it, the solution is already there. Blank-it makes it possible to greatly reduce the interaction with an on-board computer whilst leaving enough there to make it a usable tool for the officer. Blank-it can disable touch-screens or keyboards, keeping audible components active and restricting what is visible when the vehicle is moving  – addressing the major components of driver distraction without reducing officer efficiency.”

Blank-it does all of this from a rugged USB Multi-motion sensor fob that can easily be retro fitted to an existing fleet or incorporated into new installs. The easy to install and configure Blank-it software allows the officer to perform their job but keep their eyes on the road.

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

 

 

See original article here: http://www.today.com/news/distracted-police-driving-researchers-seek-solution-1D80406085

Also view two NBC videos on this subject:

Watching a Movie on Your Laptop – While Driving

Here’s a pretty good example of computer related driving distraction.

News.com.au reports that a Melbourne driver was photographed watching a video on his tablet computer while driving at night, and was observed swerving across lanes while doing so.

Road Policing Command Inspector Simon Humphrey said most would realise that this was “dangerous and stupid behaviour”. If it’s convenient to use this type of the equipment on the road then do offenders also think it’s convenient for their family to be told they’ve killed someone else or themselves?

This just reinforces the point we have been making that legislation and “voluntary” solutions are not sufficient.

See article here: http://www.news.com.au/national/man-snapped-watching-a-movie-while-driving-was-drifting-in-and-out-of-lanes/story-e6frfkp9-1226922671528

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.

 

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.

 

Another Police Distraction Related Fatality

A 68-page report released by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) shows the results of an investigation into a February 2013 fatal crash, and says that the FHP officer involved was distracted by his laptop (Mobile Data Terminal) at the time.

The trooper had been driving an unmarked FHP vehicle on his way to an off-duty security detail when the accident occurred. He was reportedly driving at between 79 to 88 miles per hour when he crashed into the other vehicle, causing it to overturn several times. The occupants of the other vehicle suffered serious injuries to two adult passengers and the death of an unborn child.

The investigation showed that the officer started using his computer at 9:09 p.m., and accessed the FHP computer network via his laptop – opening various programs and accessing msn.com as well as emails. The crash was called in at 9:15 p.m.

The report states:

It is believed that Trooper Reyes was distracted by the laptop computer in his patrol car at the time of the crash also:

Phone records revealed that Trooper Reyes was not on his cellular phone at the time of the crash

The family involved are looking into legal action against FHP.

This is another reminder of the tragic personal cost associated with such accidents, and a warning to all employers about the potential punitive and financial cost of allowing their workers to drive distracted.

As reported on news-press.com and others. Also see previous posts related to this issue, including: Police Distracted Driving Accidents Investigated and Another Police Distraction Accident.

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.

 

Fatal Distraction – Australian Newspapers Launch Pledge Campaign

fatal-distraction-01News Ltd papers in Australia have launched a ‘pledge’ campaign highlighting the death and injury toll associated with driving and texting.

Under the heading “Please put the phone away: how one text at the wheel can kill” the campaign aims to increase awareness of the dangers of driving and texting.

The News Limited analysis of police, court and coroner’s records reveals text wreck victims over the past decade include drivers, their passengers, other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

According to the article, the mounting death toll has prompted a coalition of grieving relatives, road safety groups, mobile service providers and others to unite in a bid to stop such accidents.

They are urging News Limited readers to sign a pledge promising not to text behind the wheel, and also to take action to stop friends or family if they see them in the act.

Find out more here: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/please-put-the-phone-away-how-one-text-at-the-wheel-can-kill/story-fni0fit3-1226668022491

Motion Launches In-Vehicle Computing Solution to Maximize Safety and Productivity of Mobile Workforce

Motion Computing Solution PartnerOur Solution Partner, Motion Computing, has launched an integrated in-vehicle computing solution which incorporates Blank-it  and is promoting it with the CL and X5 Vehicle Docks to transform mobile workflows all over the world.

Their flexible, space-saving & ergonomic solution easily integrates with Motion Tablet PCs to enhance mobile computing capabilities of public safety, utility and field service fleets

“Over the past 12 years, we’ve helped optimize the performance of mobile workers through purpose-built, rugged tablet PCs, tailored accessories and services,” said Peter Poulin, vice president, marketing at Motion. “We developed our In-Vehicle Computing Solutions for the growing number of mobile workers who rely on tablets inside their vehicles. As with all our solutions – the In-Vehicle Solution is designed to be flexible enough to enhance multiple workflows. It is also durable enough to meet both the safety and quality standards demanded by fleet managers at water utilities and other field service organizations.”

Motion’s in-vehicle docks feature Blank-it built-in to limit the use of computer displays while the vehicle is in motion. Blank-it also allows the fleet manager to configure what applications are accessible by the driver. And, for fleets with a driver-passenger set-up, the optional Swingaway/Blank-it solution provides full computing access for the passenger, even when the vehicle is in motion.

See the Blank-it website: https://www.blank-it.com

See the Motion website: http://www.motioncomputing.com/products/vehicle_solutions.asp

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.