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 |  Jun 16 2011, 3:44 PM

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator David Strickland explained last week that he will challenge unsafe infotainment technology that is distracting drivers.

“I’m just putting everyone on notice. A car is not a mobile device,” Strickland said. “I’m not in the business of helping people tweet better. I’m not in the business of helping people post on Facebook better.”

Strickland feels that some in-car infotainment is designed to help drivers and automakers diagnose mechanical problems, however he said that there is a major difference between helping drivers and distracting drivers.

“It’s OK not to be connected when you’re operating a car,” Strickland said. “I’m not going to dispute that people want these services. They do.”

Strickland is adamant about cracking down on distracted drivers. He feels that wireless providers and software developers should minimize driver distraction and it should remain a top priority.

[Source: egm Car Tech]

 |  Dec 06 2010, 10:16 PM

More info out recently says that those most likely to be distracted behind the wheel are well-educated, well-off drivers, according to a poll commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com.

The poll, which was for InsuranceQuotes.com by GfK Roper, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, found that these drivers are the most distracted ones on the road. Their research found that 93 percent of the affluent drivers report they engage in texting, talking on a cell phone and even kissing.

And with all that stuff going on, you know there’s going to be consequences. InsuranceQuotes.com found that four in 10 American adults who are licensed motorists said that being distracted while driving caused them to swerve into another lane, slam on the brakes, get a ticket, almost get into an accident, or have a minor or major wreck.

The numbers went up for drivers who have a college degree (49 percent) and for drivers who earn at least $75,000 a year (43 percent). This section of polled drivers comes in with the highest numbers among drivers from all income and education levels covered in the poll.

“The InsuranceQuotes.com poll on distracted driving indicates that people who have brains and bucks are more likely to be the motorists you see who are eating, reading or even kissing behind the wheel,” said John Egan, managing editor of Bankrate Insurance, which owns InsuranceQuotes.com. “It appears that well-to-do, well-educated Americans are multitaskers at work, at home-and in the car.”

[Source: InsuranceQuotes.com]

 |  Sep 12 2010, 11:23 AM

School is back in session, and the District of Vancouver, Canada wants to make sure drivers slow down. They’ve joined forces with safety organizations in order to raise awareness, and thanks to the BCAA Traffic Safety Association, drivers motoring down 22nd Street in West Vancouver will be greeted with a 3D image of a little girl chasing a ball across the street.

This is a wakeup call for distracted drivers who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. When they go through this school zone, these drivers are going to be in for a shock when they see this realistic image.

“We need to expect the unexpected because anything could happen, whether it is a 3D image on the road … or whether it’s a live child or a dog running in front of the car, these are all things that we have to be able to control for in a vehicle,” says David Dunne of the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation.

This 3D image costs $15,000 to run, and will be active for one week. From far away, the image will look like an indistinguishable mark, but when the driver is about 30 meters from it, the image of the girl and ball will become clear.

“You’ll see this image start to rise off the pavement and it will look like a little child is crossing the street. As you get closer to the image, the image recedes into the pavement,” said Dunne.

September and October are the two months with the highest child fatalities, according to the BCAA Traffic Safety Association, and this experiment goes well beyond the typical awareness campaign.

[Source: The Globe and Mail via Autoblog]

 |  Jun 02 2010, 9:58 AM

We all know how dangerous it is to text while driving, but a recent survey shows that we just can’t keep our hands on the wheel and our eyes on the road ahead of us. It seems like we have to multitask no matter what we’re doing and among our favorite things to do while behind the wheel includes performing sexual acts and getting undressed.

In a survey commissioned by hands-free headset maker Jabra, they polled 1,800 drivers in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia and Japan. It seems that while we’re not allowed to text while driving, we’re going to find other ways to be distracted. According to the results, 72 percent of drivers eat or drink regularly, while 35 percent admit to getting dressed or undressed. A frisky 15 percent have made the drive a lot more interesting by engaging in sexual intercourse or other sexual acts, while 29 percent have kissed while driving.

In order to catch a few more minutes of sleep in the morning, 23 percent used their commute to style their hair and 13 percent admitted to applying makeup. Other ways to pass the time while stuck in traffic include reading the newspaper or a magazine (10 percent), reading or writing e-mails (12 percent), send a text message (28 percent), play a video game (5 percent) and  shave (5 percent).

[Source: Jalopnik]