Distracted Driving: Social Problem Calls for Hardware Solution

Texting While Driving

There’s a reason why this blog post contains “distracted driving” in the headline. Just Google this or any variation on the term and you will find dozens of new stories popping up daily. Smartphones are the new “hotcakes” in terms of sales so naturally, they have become as ubiquitous as the drivers they distract. Cell phone use, whether it’s illegal in your state or not, is now being spotlighted as a social problem much in the way that drunken driving was targeted back in the 80’s. And like the war on drunken driving, educating the public to the dangers of texting/surfing/talking on their phones while driving should spearhead this campaign, right? Not so fast.

Since the origins for this new form of impaired driving are rooted in technology, education and social engineering run on a much slower timeline and may take years to catch up. When searching for a more technological solution, we see many apps and programs implemented on the software and carriers’ sides respectively. Apps like “Rode Dog” (created by an 11 old year who was awarded a prize of $20,000 from AT&T) blare out obnoxious barks whenever it’s user is texting while driving. These solutions come from a technological approach but only offer software-limited benefits. In other words, it’s much easier to hack a software solution than it is a hardware solution.

BVS has been working with both private and public transportation authorities for highway and mass transit safety in an effort to curb distracted operators. Solutions like TransitHound offer a focused attention on the RF that all smartphones transmit. By focusing on the RF in a single area that the driver occupies, TransitHound can take immediate action by sounding local alerts, snapping pictures and even alerting authorities to the illegal and dangerous use of a cell phone by drivers. So instead of drivers defeating software measures, using someone else’s phone or working around the inconvenience of a distracted driving software app, they are detected, alerted and dispatched as violators by integrated cell phone detection systems like TransitHound.

By using the right technology now, we can address the dangers of distracted driving over the course of months instead of years or even decades saving thousands of lives.

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