A new gadget is on the market that aims to keep drivers from sending and receiving text messages behind the wheel.
AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The decision is in; a woman who was being sued for sending a text message which caused the receiver of the message to get in an accident has been cleared by a New Jersey judge.
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.
Despite acknowledging that it’s a dangerous habit, a significant proportion of teens admit to texting and driving. A new survey by Consumer Reports shows that almost a third of the teens surveyed admitted having the practice themselves.
A recent study released by the Department of Transportation (DOT) finds that passengers under 25 are less likely to speak up to a driver who is texting and driving… maybe because they’re too busy texting as well.
The study was conducted and released to encourage passengers to speak up against distracted drivers and is spearheaded by none other than transportation secretary Ray LaHood, who cruises around on the weekends looking for distracted drivers to honk at. 56 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds said they would “say something” if their driver was texting, while 52 percent of 21-24 year olds would do the same.
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.
Anybody who’s anybody has their own app, and now you can add State Farm to the list of trend setters. This one will hopefully cut down on a few claims, as State Farm’s Android application automatically responds to text messages while you’re driving.
The new widget, called the “On the Move” widget, lets Android smartphone users to compose and preload customized messages that are sent as automated responses to incoming text messages. That means you can keep your eyes on the road and let the app respond to text messages for you. It tells texters that you’re busy at the moment, but will get back to them as soon as you can. It’s free to anyone with an Android smartphone as part of State Farm’s updated Pocket Agent for Android application.
“It is our hope that this widget will prevent crashes and save lives,” said Laurette Stiles, Strategic Resources vice president at State Farm. “This new service will help drivers manage the temptation to read or respond to text messages when they are behind the wheel. We wanted to make this widget available free-of-charge as just one of the ways we’re working to keep our roadways safe for drivers.”
With the app, Android owners can compose their own responses and save them for future use. It works with all incoming texts, or can be directed at those in your address book. Before you drive you car away, just activate the service and catch up on your texts when you get to your destination. Activating the service prior to driving is just one way to use the widget.
To activate the auto-response function, just turn on the widget and write or pick an auto-response message. Any text messages you get still come through and can be accessed in your inbox at any time.
Check out a video demonstration of the App after the jump:
You look at the survey headline: “86 Percent Of Teen Drivers Are Distracted.” Of course, you go right to the evils of the cell phone – talking, texting, sending and reading email – or using advanced in-car features. Results from a survey conducted by AAA and Seventeen magazine found that 86 percent of those polled drove distracted – but they consider adjusting the radio and eating in the car as distractions.
In its survey of 2,000 drivers ages 16-19, the two distractions that teens engaged in most were adjusting the radio (73 percent) and eating (61 percent). Coming in third was talking on a cell phone ( 60 percent).
Cell phone use is also more common with the current generation of teens, and many studies have found that using a cell is distracting whether you’re using a handset or hands-free device.
And texting isn’t lost in this survey – thought to be one of the riskiest behaviours to partake in behind the wheel. About 28 percent of respondents admitted to texting while driving. This number may not seem as high as the others, but it should be noted that this 28 percent averaged sending 23 texts a month.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
It’s a sign of the times – texting while behind the wheel isn’t cool to do anymore. In fact, it’s pretty stupid, now that we know the dangers associated while trying to do the two acts simultaneously. But for all those drivers who still don’t get it, don’t worry – TxtStopper will stop you from being your own worst enemy.
If the laws, scary stats or social stigma won’t do it for you, TxtStopper will. This professionally installed and handy 12 volt device will make sure you never text and drive again, because it will shut down all communications on any U.S. cell phone when it’s in an operating vehicle. Unfortunately though doesn’t differentiate between a driver and a passenger and will switch on whenever the car is in gear and running.
Available for a mere $200, there is no hard evidence of the TxtStopper working as intended just yet, but give it time. Perhaps judges will make it mandatory for repeat offenders who just can’t put their cell phones down. And if you happen to have a built-in GPS navigation system in your cell, it would kind of defeat the purpose of having this feature. Oh well, you can always pull over and ask for directions at the nearest corner gas station.
There’s already enough to focus on while driving, but apparently, that’s not enough for us – we have a touch of the ADD (Attention Deficit while Driving) syndrome. Topping the list as the biggest distraction for drivers is, not a big surprise – texting.
Although many states and provinces have banned texting, it seems like we just can’t put down the cell phone. In a study done by Autoglass, where 3,000 motorists were polled, texting took the prize as the top activity to partake in while behind the wheel (well, other than driving that is).
Of those polled, more than half (51 percent) indicated that texting/SMS diverted their attention of the road. And when they aren’t texting, they are talking – 40 percent noted the gabbing on the cell took up their attention while driving.
Here’s a surprising fact – the worst offenders happened to be in the over-55 age group. This is the age where drivers are seen as the safest demographic (and who knew that middle-aged adults knew how to text).
Other result from this Autoglass survey found that men are twice as likely (35 percent) as women (15 percent) to take their eyes off the road when checking out a hottie walking by. To divert a women attention, you just need to be cute and furry – ladies are almost twice as likely as men (25 percent compared with 13 percent) to be distraction by trying to avoid an animal in the road.
[Source: Auto Express]
Find a top ten list of distractions that drivers cited after the jump:
You’d think that parents would want to set a good example for their teens, especially when it comes to good driving habits. But now a new study shows that adults are just as bad, maybe worse, than teens when it comes to sending and receiving texts while driving.
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project looked at adult distracted driving habits. They took these results and compared them to a teen survey done by Princeton Survey Research International. The survey found that 47 percent of texting adults say they have sent or read a text message while driving compared to 34 percent of texting teens doing so.
Other interesting result from the survey found 75 percent of adults who own a cell phone admit they talk on their phones while driving. Compare this number to the 52 percent of cell-phone owning 16- and 17-year-olds – that translates to 61 percent of all adults, compared to 43 percent of teens. It makes you have to wonder if teens are smarter than their parents
Another surprising stat revealed was that 17 percent of the adults surveyed admitted to hitting another car or stationary object because of distracted driving. Other results show that around half of both adults and teens say they have been in a car while a driver was texting. Forty-four percent of adults and 40 percent of teens also noted dangerous cell phone use by the driver while they were passengers.
[Source: Ride Lust]
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).
Drivers who text have just met their worst enemy – the United Nations. In an attempt to end distracted driving, the United Nations has launched a new campaign aimed to stop texting while driving.
This new program, named “Global Call to Action on Ending Distracted Driving,” has plenty of supporters in high places, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The program, which is available in all languages, focuses on driving safety and putting down the cell phone. There’s also a Facebook page you can join where you can support the cause.
Accidents caused by distracted driving are on the rise – in fact, between 80-90 percent of accidents are caused by driver behavior like distracted driving. Other interesting stats from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that 1.2 million people die on the roads each year and another 20-50 million are injured. WHO also projects that by 2030 crash fatalities will become the 5th leading cause of death, surpassing HIV/AIDS, cancer, violence, and diabetes. There are currently 600 million cars on the road and 4.6 billion cell phone subscriptions.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Heading out on a road tip this summer that will take you across state lines? Before you head out, do a little prep work and find out if the state you’re visiting has any safety laws you may not be aware of.
An important and trendy hot topic this summer has to be bans on cell phones. The list for states that have banned texting and talking on a cell phone while driving is growing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has up-to-date information on where it’s ok to call for directions while behind the wheel, and all the states where you’ll get slapped with a hefty fine if you’re caught yakking.
The rise in cell phone bans comes from the rise in car accidents where distracted drivers are cited as the cause. In 2008 almost 6,000 people died and more than half a million people were injured on U.S. roads in crashes that involved distracted drivers. The term distracted driving can be defined as anything that takes the driver’s hands off the wheel or eyes off the road for more than two seconds or interrupts concentration.
While talking on a cell phone is distracting enough, texting is even worse. This is because it involves three things that distract drivers the most: visual (looking away from the road), manual (punching keys on a wireless device), and cognitive (reading or composing a text message).
Another great site to check regarding safety laws is the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Here, you’ll find a state-by-state summary of vehicle safety laws, including child safety seats, speed and red-light cameras, and drunk driving.