Potential distractions for new car drivers are popping up as quickly as automakers can cram new touch screens and apps into the cars being sold.
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The lyrics in rock band Supertramp’s song “Dreamer” might have new meaning to some people in light of a study on distracted driving.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about seven out of 10 Americans drive while talking on their mobile phones.
Automakers may talk a big game about preventing distracted driving and improving safety, but at the same time they continue to provide distracting infotainment systems.
According to a recent study, only 1 percent of parents believe their teenage drivers are texting and driving even though 26 percent of teens admit to doing so at least once every time they drive.
Perhaps all those campaigns targeting teenagers and distracted driving should be shifted to focus on parent instead. According to a survey recently conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), an alarming percentage of parents are driving distracted, and surveyed teens mirror their parents’ poor driving habits in equal amounts.
The “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wecks” campaign has kicked off in full speed and now National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is adding to it by urging drivers to “designate a texter” while on the road.
A new report from the Frontier Center, a Canadian-based public think tank, suggests distracted driving laws might actually make roads more dangerous.
Distractions come in many forms when behind the wheel of a car, and 29 percent of Irish men admit that they have narrowly avoided a collision because they were distracted by a passing female.
There’s a fighting chance you’re guilty of it and so is your neighbor because according to a new Harris Poll, 80 percent of drivers participate in distracting behavior behind the wheel.
A new transportation bill before congress seeks to reward states that ban texting and driving with money, but is it ethical?
On Sept. 21, 2009, a nineteen-year-old man struck a couple on a motorcycle while texting behind the wheel of his car. Now, the couple is attempting to sue the woman who was sending the messages to the man, saying that she was encouraging his distracted driving.
The University of Leeds recently published a study titled ‘Two Hands Better Than One’ that showed that eating while driving is more dangerous than using a phone while driving, or drinking while driving.
By using a driving simulator, the UK-based study found that driver reaction time increased by 44 percent while eating behing the wheel. While drinking from a bottle or can behind the wheel, reactions time increase 22 percent. A 37 percent increase in time was found for drivers texting and piloting their car. Surprisingly, a 0.08 blood alcohol level only increased reaction times by 12.5 percent.
Most of this may seem to be common sense, but distracted driving has become a major issue and studies are showing that it’s more than just texting and driving that has become deadly. Raising awareness that eating while driving is even more distracting than texting and driving sheds some light on an activity that some of us are probably guilty of doing behind the wheel on an almost daily basis.
April has been designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and it’s no surprise with all the news surrounding distracting elements in our vehicles.
German automaker Mercedes-Benz has already jumped on board with its driving academy offering free safety seminars in the state of California. Now the California Office of Traffic Safety is creating seven anti-distracted driving ads and the first one has hit the Web, featuring none other than zombies.
We’re not really sure what effect this ad is supposed to have on us. Are zombies coming to stop us from being distracted while driving? Are we going to all become zombies if we text and drive? Is the State of California saying we’re just zombies texting and driving? Oh no, now we’re just more confused.
Watch the first of seven anti-distracted driving ads from the California Office of Traffic Safety after the break.
Potential customers are no good to an automaker if they’re dead so Mercedes-Benz is taking steps to help improve the chances that teens practice safe driving in the spirit of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
“Teens are now faced with more distractions behind the wheel, compared to previous generations of new drivers,” said Marc Hemsworth, senior driving coach at Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy and former LAPD officer and chief driving instructor. “Reinforcing the dangers of distracted driving and being a good role model are a few ways parents can help improve driver safety for their teens and everyone on the road.”
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, a California State certified driving school, will kick off the awareness month by offering free programs including a distracted driving demo, Parent and Teen Workshops and driving assessments.
The seminars begin April 2 and will be held at Calabasas High School in Calabasas, Calif. and mark the third year that April has been designated with the awareness campaign.
Distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is more likely among teens over any other age group. Additionally, in the first half of 2011, the number of teen driving deaths increased by 11 percent after an eight-year consecutive decline.
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, as the name would suggest, is observed throughout the country, but California runs an additional “Teen Safe Driving Week,” which begins this Sunday.
A comprehensive new study by AAA has revealed insight into exactly what teenagers are being distracted by behind the wheel, with teenage girls 50 percent more likely than their male counterparts to be on the phone, texting or using another electronic device.
The new study, Distracted Driving Among Newly Licensed Teen Drivers, is the first of its kind to document distracted driving by teenagers by using in-car video cameras and has revealed a slew of distractions among both males and feemales.
Results of the study show that teenage males were twice as likely to turn around in their seat while driving and more likely to talk with someone outside the vehicle. Females, on the other hand, were 50 percent more likely to reach for an object while driving and 25 percent more likely to be distracted by eating or drinking.
Overall, however, electronic devices were found to be the number one cause of distracted driving; something observed in 7 percent of the clips. A total of 15 percent of videos showed some type of distracted driving. The data also shows that older teenagers were more likely to be distracted, suggesting a complacence once they’re more comfortable behind the wheel.
Driving with multiple passengers was also found to be a major cause of concern. The study shows that loud conversations and “horseplay” were twice as likely when multiple passengers were present (rather than just one), and drivers were six times more likely to have a “serious incident” when there was loud conversation in the car. Conversely, distractions decreased significantly with an adult present.
“Cell phones, texting, personal grooming, and reaching for things in the car were among the most common distracting activities found when cameras were put in new teen drivers’ cars,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “This new study provides the best view we’ve had about how and when teens engage in distracted driving behaviors believed to contribute to making car crashes the leading cause of death for teenagers.”
“The gender differences with regard to distraction observed in this study raise some points that we’ll want to investigate in future projects,” Kissinger said. “Every insight we gain into driver behavior has the potential to lead us to new risk management strategies.”
Data for the AAA study came from video clips from 50 North Caroline families with teenage drivers. First analysts studied how teens behave during the learner stage with a parent next to them, then for this most recent study a total of 7,858 clips were examined from the first six months of unsupervised driving.
Car crashes remain the number one cause of death among young Americans.