Aegis Design

Employee Distracted Driving: Understanding Your Business Risk and Liability

When employees crash while using a mobile device, employers are faced with significant risk and liability.

And when it comes to plaintiffs' filing distracted driving lawsuits against employers, the landscape is changing rapidly.

That's precisely why we released today the second edition of our white paper entitled, Employee Distracted Driving: Understanding Your Business Risk and Liability. 

Originally published in 2010, this new version of the paper was developed in collaboration with a national law firm specialized in defending corporate clients in complex litigation matters.  The release of the paper coincides with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and provides employers with a fresh examination of a broad range of distracted driving issues including:

  • Scientific research and statistics
  • Changing regulatory and legislative environments
  • Recent litigation and verdicts
  • Industry standards and best practices for risk management
  • Solutions to promote compliance with documented policy

The paper is available for free download and we encourage employers everywhere to take a look and see how the world of distracted driving risk management is changing.

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Center For Disease Control (CDC) Update On Mobile Device Use While Driving

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is one of the pre-eminent organizations worldwide dedicated to creating the expertise, information and tools that people and communities need to protect their health.

The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of March 15, 2013 (Vol. 62/No. 10) features an update on distracted driving with the key findings that:

  • Road traffic crashes are a global public health problem, contributing to an estimated 1.3M deaths annually
  • Mobile device use while driving has become an increasing concern
  • Within the United States, approximately 2 out of every 3 drivers admit to talking on their cell phones while driving and nearly 1/3 admit to texting or emailing while driving in the last 30 days

The CDC recommends that emerging vehicle and mobile communication technologies be studied to assess their role in reducing crashes related to distracted driving.

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The 3rd Annual Survey on Work Place Distracted Driving is Now Open!

Check it out! The 3rd Annual Survey on Work Place Distracted Driving is now open

The survey takes 3 minutes to complete and is designed to gather feedback from commercial fleet operators and professional risk managers to gauge corporate perspectives and attitudes toward employee use of mobile devices while driving on the job.  

Just like last year (and the year before) the survey is being promoted to key constituents in the commercial fleet industry.  So, if that sounds like you, then we'd be grateful for your participation.

Then on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, we will publish the results -- so everyone can see for themselves how corporate attitudes toward employee distracted driving are changing.

Thanks in advance for your participation.

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Technology Helping Technology

In the March 6 Issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 309, No.9), authors Jeffrey H. Cohen, MD and Motao Zhu, MD, PhD put forth, in their article Keeping an Eye on Distracted Driving, the argument that: 

  • Fatalities associated with distracted driving due to mobile device use continue to increase
  • Education and legislation are failing to solve the problem despite concerted effort and expense

Education, alone, rarely leads to behavioural change. The authors note, "As individuals continue to use their cell phones nearly continuously throughout the day, for both business and pleasure, they will continue to be tempted to use this technology - if available - while driving."

Similarly, legislation that cannot be practically implemented by law enforcement personnel is unlikely to be a deterrent. The authors observe, "Simply banning handheld cell phone use while driving, without providing law enforcement with an easy method of detecting such use, is akin to banning drunk driving without using breathalyzers or sobriety tests to detect violators." The difficulties of detecting unlawful use and the scarcity of police resources make it unlikely that law enforcement will place a high priority on apprehending violators of legislative bans.

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The authors' central thesis is that "Cell phone use while driving is a problem that has been created by technology, and solving this problem will require technological solutions."

Authors Cohen and Zhu conclude, "Failure to act in this manner [failure to implement technology solutions] will result in the continued loss of thousands of lives each year to this preventable public safety hazard. In the era of smartphones and smart cars, it is time to be smarter about keeping them apart from one another."

At Aegis, we could not agree more and have created the industry's broadest portfolio of solutions to automatically detect when mobile devices are in a driving state and to implement policy controls which ensure the safe and legal use of such devices while driving.

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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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