Friday, August 21, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen, Parents, Employers, Legislation, and Safe Driving Solutions

Teen, Parents, Employers, Legislation, and Safe Driving Solutions

Teen driving related accidents is a major concern and distractions such as cell phones are a significant cause. This has been a major catalyst in the creation of many teen-related driving sites ( ,, and just to name a few) and has also sparked a slew of technology solutions -- sometimes called tracking solutions -- such as parental controls ( e.g. from Sprint ). But when it comes to safe driving practices, we have also noticed that parents (and other adults) are not being the best role models -- tow truck drivers running into swimming pools and tram drivers crashing are just two of the plethora of very recent accidents due to distracted driving and cell phone use.

Over the last year state legislators have made distracted driving a hot topic – with the use of all cellphones by novice drivers now restricted in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and text messaging banned for all drivers in 17 states. But enforcement issues abound. Worse yet, hardware based solutions are expensive, the big brother nature of the current solutions are very intrusive, and in some cases, are only reactive and not preventitive in the context of driving -- only telling users or their parents after the fact that they may have done something wrong or applying a broad restriction which covers all times and places (e.g. not limited to actual driving conditions).

A recent ZoomSafer video provides a funny look at how adults think they are just fine texting and driving. As reported here earlier, many adults think that only poor texters get into accidents . So isn't it about time that the soccer moms and the busy dads of this world start providing better examples for our teen drivers? Companies and government agencies should help too.

Distracted driving is definitely a large and complicated issue. Changing behavior is not easy for anyone - teens, moms, dads, etc. However, education and legislation alone is not going to change the habits of our hyper-connected society. As the word spreads on the dangers of distracted driving , some people will choose to abstain from using their phones when driving, but a larger percentage of the population will seek legally compliant safe driving solutions that are capable of providing safer alternatives to what they do today -- something that still keeps them connected with their modern lifestyles.

At ZoomSafer , we are trying to take this problem head on. With a variety of tactics meant to address the spectrum of user types, ZoomSafer can be both very restrictive, like the proverbial stick, but simultaneously it can also be a carrot.

At one end of the spectrum, a parent might say -- “You can only drive, if you put ZoomSafer on your phone. It will let me know you're safe and allow me to get a hold of you in an emergency.”
But on the other end, ZoomSafer can also be a cool technology for teens that keeps their peeps (and mom or dad) up to date while they drive. It can also be a great excuse to get yourself upgraded to the latest smart phone.

And for truly highly connected individuals of all ages, it can provide a set of significantly safer alternatives to keyboard based texting and emailing – while still keeping two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road when driving.

ZoomSafer is the only safe driving solution to address such a broad spectrum of uses and users – hopefully making everyone a little safer. So let’s all start using ZoomSafer and make the roads safer for everyone.