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FAQ: What should a fleet do about drivers who don’t want to put a safe-driving app on their personal phones?

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By Chief Technology Officer Robert Azzi; Major Accounts Executive & Sr. Sales Engineer James Curnel; and former CFO CJ Meurell

The biggest concern we hear from our fleet customers is that drivers who use their personal phones on the job are worried about privacy risks with adding an app on their phones. We get it—but we also believe that addressing and overcoming drivers’ concerns is necessary to enact a solution like our Evvy App that will prevent accidents and better ensure driver safety. Our No. 1 goal is to see drivers get home safely to their families and improve fleet safety records. 

The truth is, fleets don’t have to choose between driver retention and lower accident rates.

We believe, as part of our solution’s effectiveness, we must be committed to driver privacy protection. Our Evvy App, which helps break habits like texting or using unsafe, distracting apps while driving, does not activate or collect any data until drivers put the fleet vehicle in motion. Evvy does not require a driver’s personal phone number or name for the app to work on their phones. Our app does not have access to a user’s text messages, photos, or any other personal files or content on a driver’s device. We can’t see anything that is on the phone—we can only detect whether the app is running in the foreground of the phone while the vehicle is in motion. 

We also work very hard to prevent hackers from getting into the Evvy App. We regularly scan the app for vulnerabilities and follow industry best practices to keep driver information secure, including data encryption. 

We also often hear a concern that drivers will quit if they are asked to put a safe-driving app onto their personal phones. In our conversations with many fleet managers, we believe drivers are most likely to leave their job to take a position where they can spend more time at home, earn higher compensation, or drive improved vehicles. A request to put a safety app on their phones has not been a leading cause of drivers choosing to leave a fleet.

In fact, our Evvy App can actually improve driver retention. If a driver’s alternative is to drive with an in-cab camera, we believe our app can actually help fleets keep drivers longer. That’s because if a fleet manager sees through the in-cab camera that a driver used his or her device while driving a fleet vehicle, that driver is often put on probation or terminated. Because our Evvy App prevents drivers from being distracted by their phones in the first place, the app can actually help fleets work with drivers to adjust their behavior and keep more drivers behind the wheel more days of the year. Evvy also protects the driver in case of an accident, because there is a documented record that the driver’s phone was secure and not used for dangerous activities, like texting or watching videos, while driving. 

The concerns over driver acceptance of a safe-driving app like Evvy also leads some managers to try an opt-in program, where drivers can choose—often with an incentive—whether to put the app on their phones or not. Unfortunately, we know this isn’t good enough to solve the distracted driving problem for a fleet. This is based on psychology: People, by and large, do not opt into something that they believe will restrict them from doing something they have a habit of doing, like checking their phone for messages. Mobile phone usage is a technology addiction, and just like other addictions, most people cannot break this addiction without some help. That’s what the Evvy App is designed to do—assist drivers in making their phone-use behavior and habits safer while driving.

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