Cogosense Blog

Cogosense's Driver Behaviour Blog

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Corporate Liability for Distracted Driving: Law, Science and Solutions

This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at a conference in Houston, TX, entitled: Corporate Liability for Distracted Driving: Law, Science and Solutions. The invitation-only event was hosted by Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial, LLC, a national trial firm specialized in defending corporate clients in high-exposure litigation.

Because this was a closed-door event, I can't go into detail on the contents of the event, the attendees, or the associated discussions. I can, however, share with you a high-level overview. The event was designed for CEOs, in-house counsel, risk managers and fleet safety managers, and the goal was to provide employers with a "real-world perspective" for understanding the rapidly evolving landscape of corporate risk and liability pertaining to employee use of mobile devices while driving on the job. The conference included presentations from industry experts on the following topics:

  1. The science behind distracted driving
  2. Telematics and accident reconstruction
  3. Risk management and policy considerations
  4. Litigation trends and concerns
  5. Insurance claims, costs and trends
  6. Technology solutions to manage risk and prevent distracted driving

My presentation is here: Managing Distracted Driving Risk for Fleets from Matt Howard

If you have questions or comments please drop me a line - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
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Aegis Mobility Wins Top Presenting Company at Canadian Financing Forum

The Canadian Financing Forum was held last week in Vancouver. The forum featured a select group of Canada's most promising young companies competing for the attention of top-tier venture investors from across Canada and the United States.

Who was named top presenting company? Aegis Mobility.b2ap3_thumbnail_canadian-financing-forum-logo_20130224-183745_1.png

We're humbled and honored to accept the award and we're excited to grow our business further by delivering simple solutions that promote safe and legal use of mobile devices while employees are driving on the job.

Read the press release.

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How Employers Can Use Big Data To Prevent Distracted Driving

Does your company have a policy that prohibits employees from using their mobile phone while driving on the job?  If so, then you’re normal.  In fact, 80% of employers today have adopted some type of policy pertaining to distracted driving.

Does your company have the ability to measure whether or not your employee drivers are complying with the documented policy?   If not, then you’re normal.  In fact, the vast majority of companies with distracted driving policies have zero ability to empirically measure compliance.

This, of course, is a serious business problem because “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

The good news is that there are now simple tools that companies can use to modify employee driving behaviors.  Products such as DriveCam, SmartDrive, Geotab, Inthinc and others provide real time feedback to drivers and automatically collect the data necessary to measure and manage driver compliance with company policy.

Furthermore, a new and innovative service called FleetSafer Vision has been developed to empirically measure employee use of mobile devices while driving.  The inexpensive cloud-based risk management service correlates driving data from telematics systems and with mobile device usage data from carrier billing systems, email servers and other sources to measure cell phone use while driving.

So, why wouldn’t a company simply tell employees not to use their phones while driving?  It’s a fair question, but unfortunately, when it comes to cell phone use while driving “telling someone to stop” is not sufficient to change his or her behavior.

Case in point.  Check out the results of this recent FleetSafer Vision audit conducted on behalf of a large public utility company with a strong safety culture and a well-documented policy prohibiting use of mobile devices while driving.  The audit itself was based on three weeks of driving data and device usage data, and the results quite sobering.  94% of the sample drivers violated the policy at least once during the three weeks and 43% of all trips had at least one cell phone distraction. 

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By simply studying the data that already exists, employers can see not only macro compliance trends but they can also spot very granular risks pertaining to specific employees, or even specific trips. Below is a visual representation of a single trip – from point A to B – including, for example, the near constant cell phone use that occurred during the trip.

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In summary, if you are an employer concerned about risk and liability associated with employee use of mobile devices while driving, then you can create a policy and (A) hope that your employees comply, or (B) know fro certain whether they comply.  All you have to do is look at the big data.

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Celebrating 100 Years of Saving Lives and Reducing Injuries

Founded in 1913, the National Safety Council is a pioneer in helping companies and the public prevent unintentional injuries and deaths by providing leadership, research, education and advocacy to reduce risks and improve safety at work, at home and in communities.

b2ap3_thumbnail_NSC-logo-blog.pngTo fulfill this mission, the NSC partners with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to focus where the most preventable injuries and deaths occur. As a result, the NSC has spearheaded many transportation safety initiatives, including those involving defensive driving, occupant restraints, speeding and drunk driving.

In 2009, with irrefutable evidence of the dangers of cell phone use in vehicles, the Council became the first organization to call for U.S. motorists to stop using all cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. Active efforts are also underway with the governors and legislators in every state to ban the use of cell phones while driving.

In 2011, the NSC recognized that technology would be a powerful complement to regulatory action and behavioral change, and partnered with Aegis Mobility to promote safe and legal use of mobile devices while driving. The nation’s leading companies are now focused on increasing employee safety and reducing liability associated with their cars, buses, trucks and other fleet vehicles.

This year, on February 28 at the San Diego Convention Center and on April 25 at the Long Beach Convention Center, the NSC will sponsor a seminar to help corporations manage their distracted driving risks, covering:

  • How employers can be held liable if an employee is involved in a crash where cell phone use was a factor.
  • What to include in a cell phone policy.
  • How to build management support for a cell phone policy.
  • How to educate employees about the policy and ensure compliance.

For more information and to register, click here.

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Must See Video: Why FleetSafer Is Good For Business

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