Cell phones have quickly become essential tools in the modern world, keeping us connected to every aspect of our hectic lives. However, their use has without doubt also played a major role in the increase of distracted driving incidents worldwide. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving is “a dangerous epidemic on American roadways” with 3,450 lives lost as a result of distracted driving in 2016 alone.
For health and safety officials and fleet managers responsible for coordinating a company’s commercial fleet, the distraction problem is even more pressing. In addition to the obvious safety concerns (motor vehicle crashes are the largest cause of workplace fatalities and represent 23% of all workplace deaths), failure to adhere to safe driving procedures has serious commercial, legal and operational implications for a business.
Implementing a comprehensive distracted driving policy, starting with a total ban on the use of mobile devices in the workplace, is one thing; enforcing that policy is even more daunting. To help with enforcing a safe driving policy, businesses ought to at least consider turning to distracted driving software and distracted driving apps.
These particular tech solutions are designed to eliminate distractions by giving administrators complete control over mobile device usage behind the wheel. As such, distracted driving apps have become a key tool in increasing distracted driving awareness, avoiding crashes, and ultimately protecting employees and the communities in which they operate, while also increasing efficiency and reducing payouts due to distracted driving claims and settlements.
Before we take a look at the problem of distracted driving and TRUCE’s unique solution to it, let’s take a closer look at distracted driving apps in more detail. We’ll do this by asking a number of key questions.
1. What are distracted driving apps and how do they work?
Distracted driving apps are technology solutions specifically designed to disable mobile devices while a vehicle is in motion. These apps employ cell phone blocking technology, allowing drivers to stay focused on the road by prohibiting them from making or accepting calls, sending or receiving text messages or accessing the internet.
Distracted driving apps work in a variety of ways depending on, for example, who they are designed for (families, teenagers, commercial fleets, all of the above), or the range of technology capabilities they offer (How customizable are they? Do they incorporate rating scales and reward systems? Who controls them?).
Irrespective of how they function or their scalability, distracted driving apps are key tools in the ongoing fight against distracted driving crashes on the roads today.
2. Are distracted driving apps effective?
We have to start changing our driving habits. The temptation to call, read emails, use social media or start texting while driving is so ingrained in people one wonders how effective distracted driving apps can actually be.
Well, the straight answer is that they can be extremely effective. TRUCE, one of the world’s leading provider of technology solutions to stop distracted driving for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, will attest to that: Its worldwide customers report that they have achieved and validated a fifty-fold Return on Investment on its solution in the first year and reduced motor vehicle accidents by 30-50%.
By giving administrators complete control over employee mobile device usage behind the wheel, TRUCE has created a highly effective solution to combating the dangerous habit of driving while distracted. Managers can create safe driving policies that eliminate access to texts, email, handheld calls, games and any other inappropriate app usage while allowing mission-critical apps through the system.
3. What are a typical fleet managers’ misconceptions about distracted driving apps?
-They are a generic, one-size-fits all solution and therefore inadequate for our company’s employees and drivers?
Not true. The system is customizable at a driver level, enabling employees from different divisions to have different protection settings on the same account.
-My business fleet is too small for this solution?
Not at all. A key part of TRUCE’s rollout has been to ensure it has been optimized for deployment across businesses of any size.
-I’ll never get my head around this. It’s far too complicated?
Not as much as you think. To implement and operate a distracted driving app is quite straightforward. You simply activate the system online, download the app to drivers’ smartphones and install the companion device in your car or truck (windshield or under the dashboard).
-What if one of my drivers absolutely needs to use their phone, either in an emergency or work-related situation?
They can. These systems are designed to always permit drivers to call 911. Similarly, the best commercial driving distracted software technologies like TRUCE will always allow mission-critical app usage through the system (as long as the motor vehicle is not moving).
-Knowing my luck, it won’t be compatible with our company’s smartphones?
Of course it will. The system supports Apple iPhone and iOS devices (4S and newer), as well as Android devices (4.3 and newer), delivering the same quality user experience regardless of the environment.
-What’s stopping a driver from tampering with, or even switching off, their cell blocking app?
TRUCE is a piece of hardware that is installed in each vehicle in a company fleet, ensuring the technology is tamper proof and always working. If an app is deactivated by a driver, the administrators controlling the software are notified through the system (in the case of a teen driver, parents will be notified by e-mail or text).
4. What separates TRUCE from other apps?
TRUCE’s platform is used by Fortune 500 companies worldwide to help companies reduce the expense and liability related to distracted driving. TRUCE’s 80,000+ current subscribers across hundreds of global companies trust this patented, award-winning technology to protect their employees every day due to its unique combination of features not found with any other distracted driving product on the market.
This begs the following question: What does TRUCE do that the others don’t?
- TRUCE gives administrators total control over employee mobile device usage behind the wheel. Fleet managers can devise policies that eliminate texting, emailing, calling or using inappropriate apps while allowing mission-critical communications through the system.
- An individual employee’s phone use policy can be customized to, for example, limit incoming calls to those coming only from fleet managers or allow them to use apps like navigation, all while blocking games, social media or other distracting apps.
- TRUCE is easy to implement on a technical level. The system can be smoothly deployed through the App Store or through a company’s existing Mobile Device Management System.
- TRUCE improves drivers’ performance by collecting a robust set of behavior data in order to score phone use, as well as each speed and maneuver category (acceleration, cornering, braking etc.). The result is unsurpassed measurement, control and feedback that improves performance.
Distracted driving apps are key tools used by businesses to increase profitability through distracted driving prevention, and TRUCE is spearheading the sea change in peoples’ behaviour on the road through its innovate safe driving systems.