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Improving Fleet Safety By Decreasing Distracted Driving

By: Peter Covach, IT Systems Analyst

Let’s face it: distraction is a daily norm in this age of instant information. Notifications, beeps, and vibrations are constantly bombarding us while the task at hand – driving – requires our undivided attention. Distracted driving has become an epidemic that puts the driver, passengers, and those nearby all at risk.

When we were designing our next in-cab tablet solution that streamlined planning and communications, Jeff Shefchik, President of Paper Transport, Inc., recognized that this new solution may be even more distracting than what was currently in the trucks. We wanted to be able to push more information to the drivers in a safe and responsible way, but completely locking the screen while in motion was not the answer. Drivers need to access key pieces of information to execute their job. Countdown of remaining hours, turn-by-turn navigation, and occasional prompts to pull over and call dispatch are essential to run an efficient operation. These requirements quickly narrowed down the list of available options.

During our testing, we stumbled across Cellcontrol. Available to everyone with a smartphone or tablet, Cellcontrol is as simple as installing an app. No additional hardware is necessary as motion is detected via GPS. Configuration on a large scale is controllable through a fleet-wide interface to define what apps are acceptable to run while in motion. Apps that are not allowed are instantly hidden while in motion and then returned after the vehicle comes to a stop (see Figure 1.1 below). While in motion, our drivers are presented with a simplified home screen of allowed apps for safer app switching. For smartphone users, there are even features to control phone and texting usage.

Currently, there are minimal regulation requirements around in-cab devices and allowed in-motion functionality. Even though there was extra cost associated with this solution, it was the responsible choice for Paper Transport and the greater motoring public. Cellcontrol and apps like it ensure our safety values are a daily reminder to prevent distracted driving.

PTI Team Members: Talk with your team leader or driver manager for a Cellcontrol discount!

For more information on Cellcontrol, please visit https://www.cellcontrol.com/

Figure 1.1
Cellcontrol Example Screens - PTI