At Geotab, we strongly believe in the power that technology has to create positive change, especially in the areas of fleet optimization and driver safety. That’s why we are raising awareness around the dangers of distracted driving and walking. Eliminating distractions is a critical step towards creating a safe environment for all road users.
Phones Down, Eyes Up: A live virtual concert in honor of Brandon Walli
On Thursday, December 10, Geotab is hosting a live concert, bringing together viewers from around the world for a fun-filled evening featuring live music performances from some of Geotab’s talented employees.
The event is being held in honor of Brandon Walli, who lost his life at the age of 23 while crossing the road on October 8, 2016. It was thought that he had been texting and walking when the incident occurred. For every person that tunes in, Geotab will be donating $5 to Brake, a registered charity whose initiatives promote road safety and sustainable transport around the world; they also support victims of road crashes.
Register to watch
Register now to get email updates and a calendar invite.
Tune in for the live virtual concert:
Thursday, December 10, 4-5 p.m. ET
Re-screenings for those unable to attend the live event:
Friday, December 11 at 4 p.m. ACT and 4 p.m CET
Responsibility on both sides of the wheel
This is the third annual Phones Down, Eyes Up event. In addition to music, there will be special guest speakers sharing expert insights on road safety, including:
- Shane Hickingbottom, Crown Attorney, Norfolk
- Zvonko Horvat, Chief of Police Alymer Police Service
- Leah Shahum, Founder & Director of Vision Zero Network
At a past event, Burlington’s local Member of Provincial Parliament Jane McKenna and Constable Erin McMillan of the OPP have provided insights into the issue of distracted driving. Citing distracted driving as the number one cause of fatalities on the road, both McKenna and McMillan stressed that these incidents are completely avoidable:
“Our phones have become a type of addiction that is not only affecting our youth, but adults as well,” stated McKenna. “We must all band together to ensure we are continuing to have fluid conversations about the importance of staying alert and help create a safer environment for all moving forward.”
Through this event, Geotab hopes to spread the message of shared responsibility — on both sides of the wheel — to create safer roads for everyone.
Learn more at the Phones Down, Eyes Up event page.
What is distracted driving and distracted walking?
According to the National Highway Traffic Association, 3,166 traffic deaths in the U.S., in 2017 alone, were the result of distracted driving. Despite these shocking statistics, one study found that almost half of young drivers reported texting or emailing while driving in the previous 30 days.
You are considered a distracted driver, and liable for harsh penalties, if you do any of the following while driving:
- Drinking coffee or eating
- Talk with people in the car, or on a hands-free cell phone
- Text, scroll or search on your phone
- Play with the in-car entertainment system (radio, map)
- Smoking or vaping
- Reaching for things on the floor
Distracted walking is also a serious health concern. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, around 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017. While there is little conclusive data that reports on how many of these tragedies were the result of distracted walking, two recent trends may offer insight. The GHSA notes that there was a 236% increase in smartphones used in the U.S. between 2010 and 2016. Meanwhile, U.S. states that legalized marijuana between 2012 and 2016 saw a collective 16.4% increase in pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2017. Because of these distractions it has become more important than ever to remind people to stay aware of their surroundings, especially near roadways.
The National Safety Council recommends these tips for pedestrians:
- Eliminate cell phone use, including wearing earbuds, while walking
- Avoid substance impairment when walking
- Cross streets only at crosswalks
- Walk on the sidewalk wherever possible; walk facing traffic as a last resort
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing any street
- Wear reflective clothing and a flashlight at night
- Look out for cars backing up out of driveways and parking spaces
While technology continues to make our lives easier in new and innovative ways, it is important that we remain aware of our surroundings. As a society, company and as individuals we need to do our part to promote road safety — both as pedestrians and drivers — and encourage responsibility on both sides of the wheel.
Find more prevention tips in this blog post: Distracted driving facts: Common causes and solutions
Show your support
Continue the conversation by using the hashtag #PhoneDownEyesUp on social media and sharing your stories with friends. Remind those you love to put their phones down and keep their eyes up. Because at the end of the day, road safety is all of our responsibility.