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 |  Oct 10 2010, 11:16 AM

Multi-tasking is an essential part of your day, we get that. But that doesn’t mean you should carry it over to every aspect of your life. Like driving, for example. When you’re behind the wheel, you should be paying attention to the road and nothing else. And while we all know that’s what we should be doing, we don’t always follow this advice – especially when it comes to putting down our cell phone.

A recent survey from the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies that polled 1,000 motorists found that 90 percent believe that talking on the phone while driving should be illegal. But while they believe this, 51 percent of those polled admit they have used their phone while out on the road.

Here are some more numbers from the survey: Of the 356 respondents who said they have talked on a hand-held cell phone while driving, 43 percent said it should be illegal to do so. Of the 315 respondents who have talked on a hands-free cell phone while driving, 11 percent said it should be illegal to do so. And 80 percent of the 133 respondents who have texted while driving said that should be illegal. Almost a third of younger drivers (ages 18 to 34 years) said they have texted while driving.

But talking or texting on the phone isn’t the only thing we like to do. The survey goes on to point out that 77 percent of respondents have observed other motorists apply makeup, shave and brush their hair (only 8% admitted to doing it themselves). Also 18 percent of respondents have seen others change their clothes while driving, but only 3 percent would admit to doing so themselves.

After the jump, you’ll find a list of what the respondents admit to doing behind the wheel.

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 13 2010, 2:51 PM

The government is cracking down on people who drink and drive with an auto industry program that is in process of developing an in-car device that detects drunken drivers. This tool will be installed in all new vehicles, and is set to receive a six-fold increase in the annual funding.

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program’s budget receives $2 million per year, but is set to increase to $12 million for the next five years. This in-car device will automatically sniff the driver’s breath or use a light beam to test the alcohol content of tissue, in effect preventing a drunk driver from starting the vehicle.

The installation of such a device could potentially save thousands. Based on 2008 stats, almost 12,000 people died in alcohol-impaired car crashes. This tool wouldn’t be mandatory, but the safety advantages would be a definite asset to the list of new car perks. Thirteen automakers are already onboard with the project, who are sure that drivers will want to voluntarily add the mechanism to their vehicles as an added safety measure. Having one of these devices installed would hopefully mean that drivers would pay lower insurance rates.

Susan Ferguson, program director for Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, is optimistic about the new device and suggests that it could save 8,000 to 9,000 lives per year. “I think it is equivalent to the next seat belt,” she said. “It could make a huge difference in highway safety.”

Would you ever consider adding this alcohol-detecting device in your new car? Leave your comments below.

[Source: NYT]