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Posts Tagged ‘texting and driving’

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…)

Americans Admit to Dangerous Behaviors While Driving

Poll shows more people recognizing distracted driving.

by on Jun.20, 2014

Americans appear to be taking a harsher view of what constitutes distracted driving, although they're not as stringent with their own behavior.

The increase in what Americans define as dangerous behavior while driving continues to become more stringent, but their resolve to stop these behaviors isn’t growing at the same rate.

A recent Harris Poll shows that people are taking a harsher view on drinking while driving and distracted driving. In fact, 94% of Americans believe that driving after having three or more drinks is dangerous, while 68% feel the same way about having one or two drinks.

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However, knowing what’s wrong and doing something about it are two different things. (more…)

Feds Wants Crackdown on Driver Texting

White House to demand automakers limit ability to text, use cellphones while driving.

by on Feb.16, 2012

A new set of "voluntary" federal guidelines would limit texting and the use of other distracting technologies while driving.

With the nation’s top automotive safety regulator calling distracted driving an “epidemic,” the Obama Administration is demanding that automakers put a limit on technologies that permit motorists to text or make cellphone calls while driving.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today outlined a series of voluntary steps for automotive manufacturers that would focus on the safe use of in-car infotainment systems.  The proposal would impact navigation and entertainment systems but would put a particular focus on the use of cellphones for texting and voice calling.

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“Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America’s roadways,” said LaHood, explaining, “That’s why I’ve made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused behind the wheel.”

(more…)

Driving After Dark Becoming More Hazardous for Teen Texters

New study blames cellphones, texting.

by on May.07, 2010

Texting and cellphoning may be responsible for a big increase in the percentage of nighttime fatalities involving teen drivers.

Driving after dark always has its risks, but a new study finds that the number of nighttime fatalities involving teenage drivers has risen well beyond that of the rest of the population, and cellphones are the likely cause.

The number of fatal crashes in the U.S. has gone down sharply, over the past decade, but there was an increase in the percentage of such accidents occuring after dark.

The percentage of deadly nighttime crashes involving drivers 16 to 19 years old increased sharply between 1999 and 2008, according to research by the Texas Transportation Institute.  During the first year of the study, there were 6,368 fatal crashes involving those teen driver, 2,875, or 45 percent, of them at night.  By 2008, the overall number of fatal crashes involving drivers 16 to 19 actually fell, to 4,322, but those occurring after dark increased to 50%, or 2,148 overall.

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That works out to a 10% increase while, by comparison, there was only an 8% increase among drivers 20 and older, the TTI found.

The Institute suggests that alcohol use is likely to blame for the problem among drivers over 20, but it points the finger at cellphones – both for talking and texting — for the rising nighttime fatality rate among teens.

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Ford Seeks Ways to Reduce Driver Distractions

Distraction lab seeks ways to keep drivers' eyes on the road.

by on Oct.20, 2009

Traffic is moderately heavy as I speed down the freeway, my eyes darting from the road ahead to the screen in the middle of my dashboard.

Data show 80% of accidents are caused by distracted driving, but if you have a collision in Ford's Distraction Lab, just hit "reset" and start all over again.

Data show 80% of accidents are caused by distracted driving, but if there's a collision in Ford's Distraction Lab, just hit "reset."

My task seems relatively simple: just find the address of a restaurant stored in my car’s navigation system and set is as my destination.  But before I realize what’s happening, I’m about to slam into the car ahead.  It’s a good thing it’s only a digital image on a virtual reality screen or I might be calling for a tow truck or worse, an ambulance.

Such a scenario shows just how dangerous the growing number of video screens in vehicles can be. Taken to its logical conclusion, automakers should be taking navigation systems out of cars. Precisely the opposite is happening of course, as they are are very profitable options.

A recent conference focused on the dangers of using cellphones to send text messages while driving.  And there’s evidence that to simply make phone calls while you’re behind the wheel is the equivalent of drunk driving.  But with the automobile becoming more and more the mobile equivalent of your living room or office there are plenty of other potential distractions that could lead to serious problems as well.

No Distractions...Just the Latest Automotive News!

No Distractions. Just the Latest News!

Which technology simply doesn’t belong?  And how do you make seemingly mundane tasks, like finding a song on your car’s audio system, safer?  That’s the goal of Ford Motor Company’s Human Machine Interface Verification Laboratory, otherwise known as the Distraction Lab.

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