Text No More

by Emily Holbrook on April 28, 2010 · 2 comments

We all know the risks of being distracted while operating a vehicle and half of the states have even made the decision to outlaw texting while driving. But for some drivers, a law is not enough to discourage such actions.

Texting while driving poses a huge threat not only to companies that employ drivers and operate fleets, but to others on the road. A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found that texting while driving increases the risk of being in an accident by 23 times. As the report states, “Anti-texting laws do not protect businesses from irresponsible employees.” So how can you control the actions of your drivers when they’re on the road? Well thanks to RIMS 2010, I found out that there is a device that can actually disable texting capabilities on phones while they are in motion. The name? TextArrest.

What is it?

A smartphone application that automatically switches off text messaging and calling functions while the phone is in motion. It features:

  • Integration with a phone’s GPS system to determine the speed of a moving vehicle
  • Automatic switching off of text messaging and calling functions after a phone is detected to be traveling faster that 5 mph
  • An auto response message from the driver that informs people sending text messages that their messages will be delivered once the user stops driving

Considering that distracted driving is such a problem now, fleet managers and risk managers may want to consider the option of having complete control of their driver’s cell phone use while operating a company vehicle. Smart risk management.

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Emily Holbrook is the executive managing editor for National Underwriter Life & Health and the former editor of the Risk Management Monitor and Risk Management magazine. You can read more of her writings at EmilyHolbrook.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Walter Haenn April 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

However it assumes that all the drivers in question will only have a company issued cell phone. There is very little that a company can do before hand to prevent a driver from texting on their personal cell. Only after the fact and it assumes that the company has laid out in the personnel manual the consequences of texting while driving a company car (assuming that they have one a personnel manual) can a company discipline a driver for an accident caused by texting.

Emily Holbrook April 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Good insight. Thanks Walter.

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