Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Source of Distraction

Sep 15, 2017

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Have you heard of coroner Ferland’s report on cell phone use while driving? Should the use of cell phones while driving be criminalized? Studies have shown it and statistics speak for themselves: cell phones are not viable options for using as on-board telematics devices. To ensure your drivers’ safety, you need to make the transition to devices ergonomically designed for the driver and that won’t jeopardize operational efficiency.

Designed for entertainment

Cell phones have long been considered a communication tool. Nowadays, smartphones are so versatile they are used for both work and personal matters. There is virtually no limit to what a smartphone can do. So just imagine then, how big a distraction this device can be for drivers.

4.6 seconds. This is the time it takes for a driver to write a text message while driving. When cruising at 90 km/h, the driver covers about the length of a football field without focusing on the road, explains the FMCSA in its report on driver distractions.

Coroner Michel Ferland published a report on the death of a young truck driver. He concluded that the driver’s attention was seemingly not focused on driving, adding that only his cellphone could explain this distraction. This event fueled debates in the industry and with good reason.

Increasingly stringent regulations

In the U.S., fines can be as high as US$2,750 for drivers who use a cell phone while driving, and up to US$11,000 for carriers who allow or require their drivers to use a cell phone while driving.

In Quebec, the SAAQ has also regulated the use of cell phones while driving. The regulations states that the device “must have control keys that are easy to locate, access and use, (…) must have a fixed mount that will hold it securely in place in the vehicle, (…) and must be placed for easy viewing”. Also, if the screen displays messages, they must “be short and easy to read so as not to interfere with the driving” and be “accompanied by an audible signal when a response is required”.

Uncompromised safety

The ISAAC InControl solution is designed with the driver’s working conditions in mind, while offering versatility and features equivalent to those of a smartphone. The mobile tablet is securely fixed next to the driver while driving, and can be used outside the truck for taking pictures, providing electronic signatures, scanning documents, and much more.

Connected to the vehicle’s ECM, a telemetry recorder allows for locking non-driving related features when the vehicle reaches a certain speed. Navigation and performance indicators are highlighted on the tablet, while text-to-speech functionality lets the driver listen to the content of priority messages without taking his focus off the road.

Time to move forward with managed technology

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