Can You Use A Smartphone to Promote Safe Driving?

Can you promote safe driving habits - or curb unsafe habits - with the use of a mobile app? The new App4Drivers sets out to do just that.

Designed by Dangerous Decisions LLC, this new mobile app for Android and iPhones tracks and documents texting, excessive turns, excessive speeds, quick accelerations and sudden braking. Check out how App4Drivers works on YouTube.

Users have the ability to program speed or acceleration set points not to be exceeded. A combination of internal GPS locator systems, an accelerometer and the speed of its 3G network allows for instant real-time analysis of motion, which is then documented.

Text, email and E-Alert notifications will then notify the users, vehicle owner or fleet manager of driving behavior and infractions.

While I've never used this app, I think it's important to consider possible downsides or challenges to using this app. In order for the behavior to be tracked, documented and notifications to be sent, the app must be active at the time the driving is being done. How can you ensure employees will activate and leave the app on while driving? There's a whole lot of trust involved here.

Also, it's possible the driver could get distracted by the app and its graphics while driving. In order to record the driving log, the driver must start and stop the log on the app. What guarantee is there the driver might start and/or stop it while driving - in which case they would be looking at the phone and not the road.

This is not to say employees and drivers should not be trusted with the responsibility this app requires. If you're looking for a new way to monitor and discourage unsafe driving habits and you feel you're employees might respond well to a new approach like a smartphone app, maybe this one's worth a try.

Have you used the App4Drivers in your business? If so, how has it worked for your drivers? If not, what are your thoughts on using a smartphone to monitor driving? Share your thoughts with FCP.

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