Jun 18 by jason

Automakers try to balance technology and safety, reduce distractions for drivers

We’ve written about it before, but with an increasing number of consumers being wooed by new vehicles featuring the latest in-dash technology, there’s a fine line between increasing convenience and adding even more potential distractions. Now, new guidelines from the Department of Transportation are attempting to crack down on in car distractions by disabling some…

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Jul 27 by GJEL

Can Distracted Driving Reduce Car Accidents?

The short answer to the question above is a definitive “no.” With the rise of technology, distracted driving has become a serious problem on US roadways, contributing to nearly 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries each year, according to the NHTSA. To solve this problem, many have turned to dangerous distracted driving technologies that make it easier, not harder, to text and talk behind the wheel. Safety advocates and government officials have opposed this tactic, noting that it’s the conversation, not the device, which causes distractions. The best way to avoid distractions is to simply put down the phone while behind the wheel. But a new article by Keith Barry for Wired’s Autopia blog states that distractions might not be the worst thing.

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Jul 11 by GJEL

Miss USA Jamie Lynn Crandall Targets Distracted Driving

Like thousands of Americans each year, Utah’s Jayme Lynn Crandall (now best known as Miss America), lost a friend to distracted driving. Her friend was killed by a driver who ran a red light while texting behind the wheel in 2007. The victim’s mother, Linda Mulkey, later founded an advocacy organization “Hang up, Save a Life,” which includes an informative website, awareness resources, and a scholarship fund. Crandall immediately began fighting for this cause, and has pledged to continue this effort throughout the next year, while acting as Miss USA.

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Jul 08 by GJEL

Confusing Distracted Driving Report Blurs Safety Evidence

Acting on accident reports showing that talking and texting while driving is dangerous, nine states nationwide have banned all hand held cell phone use, and 34 have banned texting while driving. Of course, these new laws have ignited the debate about distracted driving, leaving stalwarts of the insurance industry questioning whether distracted driving truly does make roads more dangerous. The newest report denying the link between distracted driving and car accidents, sponsored by the Governors Highway Safety Association and State Farm Insurance, says there’s no evidence to prove that cell phone bans reduce accidents, and adds some confusing details.

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Jun 02 by GJEL

Anti Distracted Driving Accident Campaign Targets Auto Technology

Everyone knows that distracted driving is dangerous. There’s simply no safety replacement for staying focused on the road at all times. But when it comes to improving road safety, people seem divided about whether technology should make texting and talking on the phone easier in order to let the driver’s eyes remain on the road, or whether technology should prevent distractions by blocking cell phone use before the driver’s attention wanders. This week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have provided their answer with an effort to eliminate distracting technology behind the wheel.

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May 13 by GJEL

National Youth Traffic Safety Month Prepares Teen Drivers for Summer Safety

As we’ve learned in past weeks, May is an important month for traffic safety nationwide. May marks National Bike Month, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and National Youth Traffic Safety Month. This mode of driver safety awareness comes at the perfect time, as teen car accident statistics spike during the summer months. As Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood points out on his blog, car accident deaths nearly double for drivers aged 15-19 during May, June, July and August. So do your part to reduce teen car accidents and pay attention to National Youth Traffic Safety Month.

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May 03 by GJEL

National Bike Month Focuses on Reducing Youth Bicycle Accidents

As National Bike Month rolls around, we’re reminded that too many cyclists currently on the road maintain bad habits on city streets. Many adult cyclists don’t wear helmets, obey traffic signs, or use reflective gear at night. Some states have bicycle safety laws that require appropriate bicycle safety behavior for children and teenagers. But as Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood writes on his blog this week, National Bike Month should encourage smart bicycle safety from the top down. If you have children, be a good “Roll Model” during May as National Bike Month.

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Apr 25 by GJEL

Ray LaHood to Expand Auto Safety Laws After Distracted Driving Awareness Month

As Distracted Driving Awareness Month comes to a close this week, it’s helpful to look back at what lawmakers and safety advocates have accomplished over the past few years, when distracted driving was really on the rise. While most states hadn’t even considered distracted driving laws five years ago, about 7 now ban the use of handheld cell phones, and more than 30 states prohibit texting while driving. Fortunately, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood isn’t only thinking about distracted driving during April every year. He’s laid out a forward-looking plan that promises to get even more comprehensive as the year progresses.

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Apr 05 by GJEL

California Distracted Driving Awareness Month Stresses Enforcement

Though 2010 marked the first annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month, California did not participate in an official capacity. So this year, California is making an impact with a statewide crackdown on distracted driving. About 225 local police agencies will team up with the California Highway Patrol to implement 103 CHP Area Commands and a “zero-tolerance policy” against offenders. A first-time offence carries a $20 fine, but with additional charges, the economic damage can reach over $200. So during Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April, remember to be safe and avoid distracted driving, or your wallet could regret it.

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