News Center, along with AAA, recently put three young people to the multi-tasking test. Each was asked to drive through an obstacle course while texting. It was a controlled environment with an expert adult driver in the car with them.
Each of the three hit some of the cones and one of the drivers actually ran over a cone and dragged it beneath the car.
“It teaches them that texting and driving don’t mix. They should be separate. And it is actually very difficult to do both well,” says Van Tassel.
Category Archives: Technology
Ford hosted another Driving Skills for Life driving camp in Washington D.C. just before a two-day summit created by the U.S. Department of Transportation on the topic of distracted driving. The connection of the two is a natural. The Ford Driving Skills for Life driving camp educates and trains teens on safe driving, and the U.S. government found that in 2008, the age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group. In fact, 16 percent of all under-20 drivers in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. Vehicle crashes are the top killer of teenagers in America, claiming nearly 5,000 lives each year. Additionally, teens account for three times as many fatal accidents as other drivers, according to the U.S. government.
Anyone who texts while driving has a death wish. Unfortunately, they may take others with them. Driving that message home is one valuable impact of legislation Sen. Charles Schumer sponsored to coerce states to ban the dangerous practice. But a new traffic law is an analog approach to a digital problem.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety are launching new legislative and communications campaigns to reduce distracted driving and improve safety on our roadways. AAA today announced that the motor club will work to pass laws banning text messaging by drivers in all 50 states by 2013, citing strong public support for the laws, the danger of distracted driving, and new research by the Automobile Club of Southern California showing the impact of California’s texting ban. AAA will join the Foundation to call on motorists to drive distraction-free for the week of October 5 – 11 as part of its inaugural Heads Up Driving Week: Try it for a week, do it for life.
“The new technologies that help us multitask in our everyday lives and increasingly popular social media sites present a hard-to-resist challenge to the typically safe driver,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “Enacting texting bans for drivers in all 50 states can halt the spread of this dangerous practice among motorists nationwide, and is a key legislative priority for AAA in state capitols.”
Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have laws that address text messaging by all drivers. Two more states have laws that prohibit teens or other new drivers from texting while driving. Laws differ across the states and some have significant shortcomings, according to AAA.
TxtResponsibly.org has received and accepted an invitation to attend the Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC. on behalf of the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Distracted Driving Summit will be convened by the Department of Transportation on September 30 – October 1, 2009 and will provide an opportunity for expert speakers from around the nation to lead interactive sessions on key topics including the extent and impact of the distracted driving problem, current research, regulations, technology implications, and best practices in enforcement and public outreach. More on Press Release.
texting while driving is not unique in the dangers it poses to drivers. According to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study, the “key to significantly improving safety is keeping your eyes on the road.” Naturally, texting while driving often leads to people taking their eyes off of the road, but so do many other activities that we generally don’t think ought to be illegal outright, such as adjusting a stereo or manipulating an iPod.
The Car and Driver study tested the reaction times of texting drivers by measuring how quickly the subjects hit the brakes when a red light turned on. The test was conducted at 35 and 70 miles per hour while the subjects read and typed quotes from the film “Caddy Shack.”
Condemning texting while driving as a whole, based on a study like Car and Driver’s, is dangerous because it tested only the worst of the practice. Common sense and the VTTI study indicate that receiving a message like, “please get milk” and responding “k” is almost certainly far less dangerous than reading and typing quotes from a movie, as the former case requires one to take their eyes off the road for a much briefer period than the latter.
St. Paul, Minn. — It’s been a little more than a year since Minnesota banned texting while driving, It’s obvious many drivers haven’t received that message — or they’re ignoring it. But safety officials vow they’ll be increasingly backing up the law with education and enforcement.
“I like to feel I can multitask,” said Kristine Brewitz of Stillwater, who figures she can text message while driving, as long as there’s no traffic and the road ahead is clear. “There are times when I feel I put myself at greater risk,” she said. “But I do feel I still watch the road and look for signs and stuff. There have been a few times where I’ve been a little bit scared. I’ve never been in an accident, knock on wood.”
A Harris Interactive poll last month found about two-thirds of Americans favor restrictions on cell phone use in cars. But an even bigger majority, 80 percent, support an outright ban on text messaging while driving. The group that represents the highway safety offices of all 50 states is calling for a nationwide prohibition, too. Insurance companies are paying more attention to the issue. One study found texters are up to 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Nationwide Insurance expects to offer discounts for drivers who adopt technology that blocks text messages to them while they’re in a moving vehicle. Devices and services that shut down mobile texting are expected to hit the market soon.
Better speech technology could make texting while driving more than dangerous, it would become obsolete. No longer would it be necessary for a driver to read teensy words from a tiny screen or type using an equally downsized keyboard–these could be replaced by simply talking and listening.
Read the full article here.