Member Spotlight - J&J Air Conditioning

Safety Matters: Contractor Eliminating Distracted Driving Through Mobile Technology Use
 
From using a smartphone, to accessing interactive in-car dashboards, many Americans multitask while behind the wheel. But according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,477 people in 2015 — with an additional 391,000 injured.
 
With technology literally at our fingertips 24/7/365, this dangerous trend has the ability to impact most commuters — including businesses and fleets. That’s why San Jose-based J&J Air Conditioning, one of the Bay Area’s leading mechanical contractors, started utilizing autoreply technology for the company’s 40+ service technicians and construction installers, who log the most time on the road.
 
“In the last three years, we’ve really ramped up our safety, and this is a continuation of that,” said Frank Quintanar, service manager. “We use Android Samsung phones, and on the text messaging settings there’s a driving mode, which can be automatically set up or triggered from a Bluetooth device. I can press a button on my steering wheel and hear the message if I need to, but it also sends a text message while I’m driving so I know the client knows that I’m driving or unavailable.”
 
Quintanar cited a recent study on cell phone addiction, which reported that cell phones enable behavioral problems and disorders, as a driving force in implementing the companywide autoreply technology. Studies have shown that “textiety,” or the anxiety of receiving and responding to texts immediately, and the fear of being disconnected or without a cell phone are becoming sometimes problematic behaviors in today’s society.
 
“As a company, our level of responsiveness and communications are second to none, so this is peace of mind for our technicians,” Quintanar said. “We really want them to focus on the task at hand, whether it’s communicating with the customer or driving. Since we’ve implemented this, we haven’t had any stoplight fender benders or tickets while driving and using their phones, so the guys seem to be buying in.”
 
Additional measures used by J&J to keep its workers safe on the job include GPS to monitor routes and location, speeding alerts, rearview mirror cameras and backup sensors on all fleet vehicles.
 
As one of many speakers during The Unified Group’s Service Management Forum in New Orleans last month, Quintanar shared the company’s simple technology with colleagues and other industry leaders.