Aegis Design

Safety Versus Freedom

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Nathan Seppa, of Science News, authored an excellent article last week entitled "Impactful Distraction - Talking while driving poses dangers that people seem unable to see."

The article touches upon many of the important issues in the distracted driving market including:

  • Competing interests between (a) science which has clearly established the dangers of distracted driving, (b) individual freedom which resists the government imposing regulations and (c) legislation which attempts to balance the interests of safety and freedom
  • Psychology that individuals believe distracted driving to be very dangerous for others but safe for themselves
  • Dangers of handsfree usage and the absence of legislation dealing with such dangers

There are several excellent infographics included in the article including the one shown below related to tunnel vision (or distractions which draw attention away from the routines that would provide a good representation of the driving environment) and "inattentional blindness" (or looking at something and not seeing it because the mind is elsewhere).

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Download PDF

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From One Second To The Next

Previously, I've written that "Learning Occurs Through Recognition Of Error" and we've authored numerous blog posts that deal with the challenges related to this precept when it comes to distracted driving.

For some people, numbers and analytic reasoning are compelling enough to force change. See the preceding blog post "2003-2013 By The Numbers".

For others, change is driven by an emotional reaction to crisis. Our friends at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have sponsored the creation of the documentary "From One Second To The Next" so that more people might effect change in their lives before facing their own personal tragedy related to distracted driving.

It is well worth taking thirty minutes to watch this compelling documentary.

http://youtu.be/_BqFkRwdFZ0

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2003-2013 By The Numbers

Regardless of our political beliefs, we can all agree that the loss of life in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade is tragic. But ABC News recently reminded us that, over the same 10 year period, we have lost more than five times as many lives to distracted driving accidents on our own highways here at home.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that distracted driving is a contributing factor in more than 386,000 injuries and more than 3,000 deaths every year.

To put that into perspective, you could fill any NFL stadium more than five times with the number of people who are injured by distracted drivers every year.

To put a finer point on it, in the last 10 years, America has lost five times as many husbands and wives, sons and daughters to distracted driving than to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Learning Occurs Through Recognition Of Error

"Learning occurs through recognition of error". It is a simple precept. Yet, the recent train wreck in Spain that killed 79 people is a tragic reminder that human behaviour is sometimes very difficult to modify despite the recognition of error.

Stemming from the 2008 train accident in California that killed 25 people and injured 135 others and the irrefutable research regarding the dangers of distraction due to mobile device use while operating motor vehicles, mobile device use policies are increasingly common across corporate America.

However, leaders in safety are well aware that paper policies and education related to mobile device use in vehicles are not enough. Safety audits and primary research results show that policy infractions invariably reach 100% of employees when measured over a 30-60 day period.

Technology safety solutions can help us address the problems that the pervasive use of mobile products has created. Policy conformance and enforcement tools can assist employees in adhering to policies and can help mitigate a major source of risk and liability for corporations.

Our goal at Aegis is help create a safer environment for employees and the public at large. Call us to schedule a demo today.

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Distracted Driving - What Is Your State Doing?

The GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) just released their 2013 Distracted Driving Survey of the States.

The main take-away is that there has been an overall increase in states enacting and enforcing laws and an improvement in data being collected compared to 2010 survey. Awareness continues to grow about the dangers of distracted driving, along with partnerships between public and private companies to help promote safety.

Download the survey report.

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