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How Will Handset Companies React to Alexander Heit's Fatal Text Message?

How Will Handset Companies React to Alexander Heit's Fatal Text Message?

I noticed another distracted driving tragedy in the news recently. University of Northern Colorado student Alexander Heit crashed his car as a result of being distracted by texting while driving and died of his injuries soon after. 

Included in the article was a photo of his iPhone displaying the last words he typed. His parents wanted the image shared as a reminder to others of the dangers of texting while driving.

The photo is an unfortunate association for Apple. While it could have easily been any phone, it made me wonder about how such an association might impact a company’s brand and how the handset companies will react.

Given increasing public awareness of the problem of distracted driving, I believe the first handset company to openly embrace the distracted driving issue and provide solutions as part of their operating system would elicit a positive reaction from consumers, particularly the parents of young drivers.

Imagine, for example, that as part of the set-up procedure for a new smartphone, the consumer is informed of the dangers of using that handset while driving and is offered the opportunity to enable a safe driving feature that automatically silences and disables the phone when driving.

Granted, some handset companies are taking steps to reduce distraction -- for example Siri Eyes Free and Motorola Smart Actions -- but I predict that we’ll see the major handset brands paying more and more attention to the issue of distracted driving to protect both their brand and their bottom line.

Story: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/final-text-crash-cuts-off-sentence/story-fnd134gw-1226618691883

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NHTSA Safety in Numbers: 660,000 US Drivers at This Very Moment Using Mobile Devices

The NHTSA just released Volume 1 of their Safety in Numbers newsletter April 2013 for Distracted Driving awareness month. Some quick stats from their survey indicate that:

  • 1 in 2 drivers answer calls while driving
  • 1 in 4 drivers place calls while driving
  • 3 in 5 young drivers answer calls while driving
  • 1 in 3 young drivers place calls while driving
  • 660,000 drivers talking on hand-held cellphones
    (5% of all American drivers at any given typical daylight moment)
  • 1.18 million drivers (9%) – were using some type of mobile device at a typical daylight moment

See NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, released in April 2013, for more information and statistics:

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811719.pdf

NHTSA Safety in Numbers newsletter:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/NHTSA+Survey+Finds+660,000+Drivers+Using+Cell+Phones+or+Manipulating+Electronic+Devices+While+Driving+At+Any+Given+Daylight+Moment

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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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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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Distracted Driving – the New DUI

The statement “Distracted Driving is the new DUI” has been used a number of times and now, at least in the province of Saskatchewan, it seems to be the actual case according to a recent article on the number of fatalities in the province for 2012.

Read it on Global News: Global Regina | Distracted drivers outnumber impaired drivers: a first for Saskatchewan 

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