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New technology aims to stop truckers from using mobile devices

We've written a lot in this blog about the many dangers associated with distracted driving. In fact, an estimated nine individuals die each day in the U.S. as a direct result of distracted driving and an additional 1,060 are injured. Some believe current statistics related to distracted driving to be severely underreported and that the true numbers of drivers, passengers and pedestrians hurt or killed by distracted drivers is actually much higher.

Cellphones are a main source of distraction for many drivers. In an effort to prevent drivers from engaging in dangerous and distracting behaviors such as texting while driving or searching the Internet while driving, many states now have laws making such practices illegal. Some safety advocates, however, contend that laws alone are not enough.

In response to growing demand from commercial vehicle fleet owners, insurance companies and parents; several companies have or are in the process of developing anti-mobile driving technology. One such company, Cellcontrol, demonstrated how their newest anti-distracted driver technology works at a recent mobile industry event.

Marketed and sold under the brand name DriveID, the device can effectively block a driver from using a cellphone. While the device's maker failed to provide specifics related to how the technology works, it effectively works to block a driver from using a cellphone to talk, text, email or browse while driving. Other front seat passengers as well as passengers in the back seat, however, are able to freely engage in such activities.

The device's maker believes the patented technology will be a big hit with owners and operators of large commercial vehicle fleet operations. In recent years, the trucking industry has seen an increase in the number of serious and fatal truck accidents attributed to distracted driving. Through the implementation of mobile blocking devices such as DriveID, fleet owners would be able to effectively prevent truck drivers from engaging in one of the most dangers distracted driving behaviors.

Source: Insurance Journal, "DriveID Can Block or Track Driver's Mobile Use," Don Jergler, May 21, 2013

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