We 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.