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Posts Tagged ‘distracted driving’

U.S. Traffic Fatalities Rise Again

Distracted driving issues offset improved vehicle safety.

by on Oct.09, 2017

Traffic fatalities in the U.S. rose in 2016 compared with 2015 numbers. The second year in a row the number has spiked.

More Americans died on U.S. roadways last year than in 2015 and the numbers hit a nine-year high, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Car accidents claimed the lives of 37,461 people in 2016, up 5.6% from the previous year. The agency pointed to the usual reasons for the fatalities: speeding and failing to wear seat belts. NHTSA also tagged the increase to a 5.1% jump in motorcycle deaths.

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The increase is the second year in a row that deaths have ticked upward. Prior to that, they had decreased six out of seven years between 2007 and 2014. The lowest tally recorded was 32,744 in 2014. The last year in which crash deaths were higher was 2007, when 41,259 were killed. (more…)

Highway Fatalities Rising Because Drivers are Getting Worse

Young and old drivers alike engaging in dangerous driving habits.

by on Feb.16, 2017

It's no longer younger drivers engaging in texting and other distracted behaviors while driving, according to a new study.

After dropping for more than a decade, highway deaths in the U.S. have risen for the last two years. A new study shows why: drivers are getting worse.

According to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than half of drivers in every age group have texted behind the wheel, run a red light or driven faster than the speed limit in the last 30 days.

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While young drivers are the worst offenders – 88% of drivers aged 19 to 24 engaged in at least one of the aforementioned behaviors – older drivers are doing them as well and in larger numbers than expected. (more…)

Feds Want to Silence Smartphones – but Amp Up Electric Vehicle Sounds

Move to lock out smartphone apps triggering a backlash.

by on Nov.28, 2016

One new NHTSA proposal would effectively lock drivers out from smartphone apps like texting.

Federal regulators are taking two seemingly opposite steps in the name of safety: they want mew battery-electric vehicles to make more noise, but they also want to silence some of those smartphone apps catching blame for distracted driving.

Both issues are expected to become more serious in the years to come, as in-car electronics become increasingly common and as normally quiet battery-powered vehicles gain more traction — but pose risks for pedestrians, especially the visually handicapped, who might not see them coming.

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There’s been growing demand to lock out texting and other apps while a vehicle is moving, but the rules the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to work on during the final months of the Obama Administration are also generating significant pushback.

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Put Down That Coffee and Step Out of the Car

NJ may ban drivers from eating, drinking behind the wheel.

by on Aug.08, 2016

Eating and drinking while driving would risk landing you a fine in NJ under a proposed bill.

The drive-in at your local McDonald’s could rank up there with the neighborhood bar when it comes to sending dangerous drivers back out on the road, at least according to a trio of New Jersey lawmakers, and they want to do something about it.

They’re asking colleagues to pass a new bill that would ban, among other things, bar motorists from sipping on a cup of coffee or nibbling on a burger while behind the wheel. Violators could wind up paying fines of up to $800 and even have their licenses revoked for up to 90 days.

It’s not that NJ Assemblyman John Wisniewski equates sipping a caffeinated latte with guzzling alcohol. He and Assembly co-sponsors Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Patrick Diegnan are trying to target the broader issue of distracted driving – an issue federal regulators say contributes to at least 11% of all fatal crashes in the U.S.

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The proposed measure would ban, “any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle on a public road or highway.”

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American Motorists Still Engaged in Distracted Driving

Survey shows U.S. drivers not as courteous as they could be.

by on May.19, 2016

U.S. motorists are still exhibiting the same distracted driving behaviors they've been warned about for years.

Despite years of warnings about the dangers of distracted driving, a new study reveals a mixed bag of results about American motorists and those behaviors: U.S. drivers dislike those behaviors, but are still seeing them in big numbers.

They’re also admitting to continuing to do the things they criticize. For example, 22% of people survey for the annual Expedia Road Rage Report said that texters are the most annoying and dangerous drivers on the road. However, 37% of those same folks admit to multi-tasking while behind the wheel.

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The survey covered various aspects of driving and how people felt about them. As mentioned, the “Texter” is the most annoying, but “The Tailgater” followed at 14%, and “The Last-Minute Line-Cutter” was a close third, garnering 13% of the votes. (more…)

Risky Behavior Behind the Wheel Running Rampant, Survey Says

AAA poll shows 87% of drivers engaged high-risk behavior in last month.

by on Feb.25, 2016

A new survey shows 87% of drivers engage in risky behavior, including talking on the phone while driving.

Almost no one behind the wheel is above the law these days, according to a new survey that shows 87% of drivers engaged in “risky behavior” behind the wheel in the last 30 days.

With all of the reports about texting while driving, eating during a commute and other distractions, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report isn’t all that surprising; however, it’s not limited to distracted driving. It includes impaired or drowsy driving, speeding, running red lights and not wearing seat belts.

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As is often the case, the cause of an auto accident – and subsequent injuries or deaths – is often avoidable if the driver focuses on the task at hand. (more…)

Drivin’ N Cryin’ Tops List of Strange Driving Activities

Survey shows crying is most common "odd" behavior while driving: sex is second.

by on Feb.01, 2016

Crying is the most common form of unusual behavior exhibited by drivers when behind the wheel.

Drivers in the U.S. are known for doing things while driving that motorists from other countries often find appalling … or at least they claim to anyway. However, the most common behavior U.S. drivers own up to is likely to be a pretty universal exhibition: crying.

Much of the focus on “distracted driving” so often focuses on using smart phones and how texting while driving or even talking on the phone while driving causes real problems on America’s roadways; however, distracted driving takes on many forms.

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A recent study released from automotive technology company Drivemode found that nearly 38% people admitted to crying while behind the wheel, making it America’s most common bizarre driving behavior. (more…)

East v West: Where are The Most Distracted Drivers?

Western drivers use an average of five smartphone apps while behind the wheel.

by on Dec.17, 2015

Drivers in the Western Hemisphere are much more distracted than their counterparts on the other side of the planet.

There are plenty of stereotypes about drivers all over the world, but after a recent study, we can now see there are pronounced differences between the use of technology by drivers in the Western and Eastern hemispheres.

Western drivers are multi-taskers, according to a new study from Drivemode, meaning they are generally more distracted while hurtling down the roadway. They often use several smartphone applications as one time whereas Eastern drivers typically use their phones for navigation.

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“While smartphone use in the car remains a universal experience, we found a distinct divide between the way Westerners multitask while in the car, and how the rest of the world uses their phones behind the wheel,” said Yo Koga, CEO and co­founder of Drivemode. “These regional patterns in app usage help to highlight the role smartphones play in different cultures.” (more…)

Even Voice-Controlled Infotainment Systems Distract Drivers, Warns Study

Feds looking at impact of using systems.

by on Oct.26, 2015

Even using voice-controlled infotainment systems, drivers can be distracted for at least 15 seconds.

Federal regulators blame distracted driving for nearly one in 10 of the nation’s highway fatalities, and much of the focus is on motorists who text while driving. But a new survey warns that even when drivers use voice-controlled infotainment systems and keep both hands on the wheel, they can be dangerously distracted.

Even at 25 miles per hour, using a voice command to do something as simple as make a phone call can shift a driver’s attention away from the road for as long as 27 seconds. That’s the equivalent of driving the length of three football fields, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

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“The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving.” (more…)

Adding a Teen Will Nearly Double Parents’ Insurance Bill

But discounts are available.

by on Jun.15, 2015

Texting and driving is one reason teens are socked with hefty insurance premiums.

It’s normal for parents to start worrying when their teens get old enough to drive – but wondering whether they’ll be safe is only one of the reasons. Adding a teen to the family car insurance policy is another reason to start fretting, as it could nearly double what parents already are paying, according to a new study.

On average, premiums will rise about 80%, according to a new study by insuranceQuotes.com. But the increase is likely to run an average 92% for a teenage male. The increases vary widely, depending upon state, averaging as little as 17% in Hawaii, and as much as 115% in New Hampshire, the study revealed.

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“It’s really expensive to insure a teen driver, said Laura Adams, the website’s senior analyst. The good news, she added, is that there are ways to get discounts if, for example, your teen is a good student.

The penalty for teen drivers should come as no surprise, experts say, considering young drivers tend to also be the riskiest group on the road.

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