Even a split-second lapse in concentration can result in tragedy, and smartphones are becoming the most common distraction. That’s why the team at Bluesona have designed Loop – the first ever in-car cuff which promises to minimise distracted driving.
The links between smartphone usage and road deaths are clear. Startling statistics confront road users with facts – and not all of them make for easy reading. Research shows that you are over four times more likely to be involved in a crash if you use your phone. Your reaction times are two times slower when texting than if you drink-drive, and this increases to three times if you are using a handheld phone. The law has attempted to meet the rise in incidents with swift penalties and license points: from 2017, those caught using their phones while driving will be hit with 6 points on their licence and a £200 fine.
Despite the growing evidence and increasing fines, road users in Northern Ireland and beyond are entering into what the media last year described as a “road safety crisis”. According to the RAC Report on Motoring 2017, nearly a quarter of drivers admitted to using a handheld mobile at the wheel to make or take a call in the past 12 months, with over 12% admitting to checking texts, emails or social media. With the launch of Loop, Bluesona challenges the misconception that a quick glance at your phone won’t hurt.
Bluesona are a software solutions startup company, specialising in the fields of in-vehicle safety devices, commercial vehicles and insurance. Conceived by founder and Loop designer Mel Morrison and software developer Denis Bourne, the firm aims not only to save lives with the Loop system, but also to bring down the insurance costs of first-time and commercial drivers. As with many great business ideas, Loop was born out of necessity. During Mel’s time working across Europe in the offshore renewable energy industry, he grew concerned when observing his teenage daughter embarking on driving lessons. How could someone so dependent on their smartphone drive safely without looking at their screen?
With that concern came the birth of Loop. The innovative system, comprised of an in-car cuff and intuitive app, allows parents and guardians to be kept informed of the drivers phone use whilst driving, allowing all parties involved to be kept in the Loop with road safety and careful driving. Throughout the conception, design and manufacturing of Loop, Bluesona have been committed to testing their products in the field with those who need them most: young and first time drivers. With that principle in mind, Bluesona have been immensely fortunate to have secured the support of four secondary-level schools across the province, who have agreed to trial loop for 4 weeks, providing any feedback which can help us to bring road-users a better, more efficient product.
Road users, young and old can register the fact that using a phone whilst driving can attract heavy penalty points and a large fine. However, what many young and first-time drivers do not know is that the law targets them specifically. Points on your licence will result in dramatically higher insurance costs – but it doesn’t stop there. In the United Kingdom, getting 6 points on your license in your first two years of driving will lose you your license. Regardless of how long you have been driving, if smartphone use distracts you and your ability to drive safely, you can expect to feel the full vigour of the law.
Such is the severity of smartphone distraction, AA President Edmund King recently called for “smart” features on in-car devices to block them from use at the wheel, adding: “The higher kill rate for mobile phone-related reported accidents provides a strong wake-up call”. With Loop, Bluesona have risen to this demand. Bringing road safety into the 21st century, Loop allows first-time drivers to successfully navigate roads with minimal distraction.
With the new, in-car safety cuff, Bluesona allows first-time drivers and their guardians to stay in the Loop. Try it now!