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Tech Solutions for Tech Problems: CJ Meurell on Solving Smartphone Addiction with a Distracted Driving App

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Despite fleet companies creating mobile device policies and installing in-cab cameras, accident rates continue to rise. CJ Meurell, Motion Intelligence’s CRO, is at the forefront of transforming the conversation around distracted driving by centering technology addiction as the root cause. CJ delivered a presentation about mobile device addiction at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (EUFMC), an educational conference for fleet representatives held annually in Virginia. The conference brings together industry leaders like Steve Carlisle of General Motors and representatives from big companies like Goodyear and Michelin. 

Following a keynote address from Steve Carlisle, CJ’s presentation outlined the growing problem of distracted driving and the role of safety technology solutions. Distracted driving accidents continue to skyrocket, costing fleets $2 billion annually, threatening fleet driver safety, and damaging brand value. Accounting for 14% of a fleet’s total expenses, accidents are a completely preventable component of an operations total cost. CJ’s presentation on this pivotal issue was picked up by trucknews.com, a leading industry news source. 

CJ explained the characteristics of addictive behavior in how it is reflected in habitual cell phone use behind the wheel. On average, people check their phones 47 times a day and use their phones 117 minutes a day. Cell phone addiction is cultural, making it common for people to use their devices during dangerous situations, such as when driving, and causing people to feel anxiety when they are unable to check their device immediately at any given time. A recent surge in younger drivers makes this problem even more prominent because they’re more likely to be involved in a collision than older drivers. 

In his presentation, CJ outlined some of the ways that technology, including the Motion Intelligence distracted driving app, is being used to help address this problem. Fleet operations have introduced the use of in-cab cameras to record and respond to cell phone use behind the wheel. Despite providing foolproof recordings of driver behavior, in-cab cameras can only document behavior after it’s already been committed. Other solutions like mobile device policies can set driver expectations and act as strong deterrents, especially if they incentivize safe driving behavior instead of just penalizing it, but do not adequately address the root of the problem either. 

Only preventative technologies that address the behavior before it leads to the loss of life and property can adequately intervene in dangerous, addictive cell phone use. The Motion Intelligence solution is comprehensive because it restricts cell phone use when it detects that the vehicle is in motion. The solution, made up of our distracted driving app, Evvy, and MotionIQ Evvy Manager Dashboard, is unmatched because of its preventative approach to help drivers maintain connectivity in a way that’s safe, effective, and empowering, but that breaks the addictive cycle of habitual and culturally ingrained dangerous cell phone use. 

With our technology, Motion Intelligence’s distracted driving app will make roads safer with innovations that allow drivers to work in a distraction-free environment while staying connected. We recognize that we live in a tech-driven world and that tech problems must be confronted with tech solutions. What distinguishes the Motion Intelligence solution is that it can address dangerous cell phone use behind the wheel negating the vital role that technology plays in our society. 

Learn more about the Evvy App and how our safety solution can work for your fleet.

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