Untrue, says Richard Thaler. The renowned American economist and Nobel prize winner was unpopular when he first shared his theory in the 1980s, going against conventional wisdom (and economic theory), which held that consumers were largely rational and logical about financial matters. According to Thaler, not only was that inaccurate, consumers continually made irrational decisions and did so in a systematically warped way.
Put simply (and contrary to popular belief), we don’t actually seek outcomes that are necessarily good for us; we seek outcomes that aren’t necessarily painful for us. Counter intuitive when it comes to matters that are important. But the good news is that the distance between those two positions/decisions is often only the matter of a “nudge.”
For example, most of us agree that it’s good for us to save money for our retirement, yet many companies have seen lackluster participation in 401(k), even when there’s a company match. So, making a choice to do something that doesn’t necessarily hurt us over a choice to do something that’s actually good for us.
We’ve seen that same theory play out in our industry when it comes to distracted driving. While those decisions don’t necessarily hurt us, they can sometimes. And when they do, it can be both dangerous and costly, especially for fleet owners.
Checking an alert on an app or replying to a quick text isn’t necessarily something that’s going to hurt us. But we know, and statistics overwhelming show, that refraining from doing those things is actually good (and safer) for us. But that’s not always the choice we make and, as Thaler predicted, we need a nudge to make a better one.
The way many commercial fleet owners are nudging? Technology, thanks to TRUCE. Because we have the ability to remove those temptations from alerts and apps by preventing the phone from being used, we’re nudging commercial drivers into making decisions that are actually better for them.
Let’s have a look at the statistics. Since its inception in 2009, TRUCE has blocked:
- More than 140 million apps
- More than 49 million text messages
- Nearly 12 million calls
That’s more than 200 million “nudges” in the right direction. In the direction of fewer distractions and safer driving. So, while it’s not in our nature to always choose what’s good for us, we can help.