New Anti-Distracted Driving Law, Technology, Apps & Insurance Discounts

Today, there were multiple anti-distracted driving announcements. Tango Networks’ RDS system controls mobile phone for fleets and commercial driving.  The state of Washington begins enforcing the $136 for first fine and @234 for second fine for Driving Under the Influence of Electronics (E-DUI) Act. LifeSaver mobile app is working with Good2Go insurance to prevent cell phone use and give discounts. The Wheel Focused app from Arbella Insurance and Cambridge Mobile Telematics is available to download for free in the Apple and Android stores.

Tango Cuts Out Cell Phone Use in Vehicles

Tango Networks has introduced its Responsible Driver System (RDS) for operators of fleet and commercial vehicles, a unique mobile phone control system that reduces distracted driving risks.

Drivers distracted by mobile phones cause tens of thousands of accidents every year, claiming lives and costing billions of dollars in property damage, lawsuits, and insurance claims and premium increases.

Tango Networks’ RDS is a breakthrough in enforcing safer driving policies for operators of fleets and transit systems, logistics, transport, field service companies, and others with commercial vehicles.

The system gives fleet operators’ IT staff direct control over driver usage of mobile phone voice, text, and data communications, based on highly flexible policies.

Using Tango Networks’ patented technology, RDS embeds enforcement of usage policies in the wireless network itself. That means drivers cannot bypass usage restrictions except in emergencies or other exceptions permitted by the company.

Tango Networks’ RDS is in use today with a major U.S. wireless operator and will soon be available via wireless operators and other partners across North America and Europe.

RDS complements “do not disturb” and other usage-blocking features on mobile phones, such as recent enhancements in Apple’s iPhone and similar features in Android phones.

“Policies can be determined by the company, based on vehicle speed, time of day, locations, and other parameters,” said Andrew Silver, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Tango Networks. “Inbound calls can be handled via specific steps that maintain safety at all times.”

For example, a fleet operator can set up RDS to reroute incoming calls to the driver’s phone to go instead to a designated live support line or voicemail. The system can send a tone to the driver’s mobile device to indicate an urgent call, which can be retrieved once the vehicle is parked.

“RDS is the only solution based in the wireless network rather than the phone, which ensures that it can’t be circumvented,” explained Silver. “That gives all the control to the fleet operator to establish anti-distracted driving policies that emphasize safety, attentiveness, and accident avoidance.”

Not only can RDS help save lives, it gives fleet operators a powerful tool to emphasize and enforce safe operations, limiting their liability and potentially leading to reduced insurance costs.

Tango Networks empowers enterprises to extend their UC solutions to any mobile device for any user. Tango’s award-winning Kinetic Communications Platform seamlessly integrates mobile devices with leading enterprise voice and UC applications.

End of Grace Period in State of Washing to for E-DUI Act.

Today marks six months since Governor Inslee signed the state’s new distracted driving law. Washington State Patrol (WSP) has ended the grace period for Washington drivers caught using electronic devices while driving. State Patrol and law enforcement officers across the state are now all issuing tickets to drivers who violate Washington’s distracted driving law—Driving Under the Influence of Electronics (E-DUI) Act.

Under the E-DUI law, drivers may not use hand-held cell phones or watch videos while they are driving, stopped in traffic, or at a stop light. This includes tablets, laptops, games, or any hand-held electronic devices. The law restricts hands-free use to a single touch.

Since the law took effect July 23, 2017, State Patrol officers have issued 6,475 distracted driving warnings statewide.

Fatalities from distracted driving increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015 in Washington. And one out of four crashes involves cell phone use just prior to the crash.

The first E-DUI ticket will cost drivers $136. If the driver incurs a second ticket within five years, the fine increases to $234. In addition, all information on cell phone infractions is now available to insurance companies.

Other types of dangerous distractions are also covered by the law. If, and only if, a driver commits another traffic violation (like running a red light), and that person was distracted by another activity besides an electronic device (for example, putting on makeup, shaving or reading), that driver can receive a $99 ticket for driving while ‘dangerously distracted.’

LifeSaver Partners with Good2Go to Discourage Distracted Driving

Good2Go Auto Insurance, Inc., announced it has partnered with LifeSaver to fight distracted driving. Using the LifeSaver mobile app, Good2Go Auto Insurance’s direct policyholders now have a simple way to ignore the urge to use their phones while driving. Good2Go Auto Insurance continues its pledge to advocate for safer driving behavior offering the LifeSaver app as part of its Cell Phone Safety Discount Program. To learn more about Good2Go Auto Insurance and the LifeSaver app Cell Phone Safety Discount.

The FREE LifeSaver app that auto-detects driving and blocks phone use on the road is available from the AppStore and Google Play.

The Arbella Insurance Group, in partnership with Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), today announced the launch of Wheel Focused, a telematics-based solution proven to change driver behavior through real-time feedback, personalized data and insights, and gamification. Participants in similar CMT programs have seen driving habits improve within 30 days of implementation, reducing phone distraction by 35 percent, hard braking by 20 percent and at-risk speeding by 20 percent.

Wheel Focused™ utilizes CMT’s award-winning platform, DriveWell, a complete telematics and behavioral analytics solution, that includes battery-efficient drive detection, an industry-leading data collection and processing engine and big data analytics. The app provides feedback to drivers on five metrics: rapid acceleration, hard braking, sharp turns, speeding and phone distraction. Wheel Focused™ logs trips while in the background of a phone, providing the driver with feedback after the trip is completed, as well as helpful tips to improve safety.

Starting today, Wheel Focused is available to download for free in the Apple and Android stores. The program is open to all residents of Massachusetts and Connecticut regardless of who their insurer is and where they purchase insurance.