Here’s a terrible statistic: 3,154 Americans were killed and an estimated 424,000 were injured in distracted driving crashes just in 2013 — many after being hit in collisions with tractor trailers.
Employers of 18 wheeler drivers are in a unique position to minimize this epidemic by implementing strong cell phone use policies. However enforcement can be tricky as the supervisor can’t be in the vehicle with his employees and must rely on them to act responsibly.
Here’s some good news: a new devise has been designed that will help employers stop texting while driving. The ORIGOSafe® prevents drivers from holding an electronic device while driving and requires administrator reset should the driver attempt to do so. And there are apps that also stop cell phone use while driving.
I’m glad that innovations like this can protect the lives of motorists. Let’s hope trucking companies recognize the value of investing in safety technology.
An Anti-Texting Ignition Interlock Device
The ORIGOSafe works in much the same way as an ignition interlock device used to prevent an intoxicated person from driving. In fact, the founder modeled it after the Breathalyzer ignition interlock machine.
Here’s how the ORIGOSafe device works:
- The driver places her or his cell phone in the special dock.
- An alarm sounds if the driver removes the cell phone from the dock while driving and will not go off until the driver replaces the device.
- If the phone is removed while driving, the driver must contact the administrator to reconfigure the phone.
- The driver cannot start the car without putting the phone in the docking station and cannot see or touch it while driving.
Employers Are Responsible for Cell Phone Policies
Of course, the device is not foolproof. Employers must still develop clear comprehensive policies and stick by those policies. For example, a supervisor should not expect or encourage workers to respond instantly to phone calls and texts if it means doing so while driving. Workers should never be asked to communicate with clients or coworkers while on the road. And employees should be strictly prohibited from engaging in any sort of electronic device communication while driving a company vehicle, using a company device or conducting business.
The product is mostly used in commercial vehicles but is also available for individuals to use.
If you are injured by a texting truck driver, a Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury attorney can help. During an investigation, your attorney can demand cell phone records to prove the driver was on the phone or texting at the time of the tractor-trailer crash.