Jan 09 by Andy Gillin

Cyborgs, cell phones and traffic safety

Technology is advancing at an accelerating rate. “Steps” in innovation that previously took years are now taking months. Each new iteration of the smart phone increases our connectivity…

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Apr 27 by Andy Gillin

Video: Distracted Driving Technology Confuses Test Driver

In the midst of the “Facebook revolution,” Americans are awed by any problem that can be solved by technology. That’s why many car companies and safety advocates have turned to technology to reduce distracted driving. But these high-tech control systems aren’t always slam dunks. New York Times Personal Technology Editor Sam Grobart tested some popular options for a video last week before the New York International Auto Show, and came up with some mixed results, suggesting that distracted driving technologies could make driving even more confusing.

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Apr 18 by Andy Gillin

5 Great Cell Phone Apps to Prevent Distracted Driving

With the rise of distracted driving, cell phones are often cited as villains that facilitate dangerous driving practices. But while distracting phone calls, text messages, and games are certainly a large part of the problem, a few tech companies have put significant resources toward developing smart phone applications that will actually make it easier to drive without distractions. Of course, this isn’t always the result. Earlier this month, for example, we listed the top five most dangerous distracted driving technologies. This week, in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we’re focusing on the good innovations that could lead to a generation of safer cell phones and less distracted drivers. Take a look, and leave your thoughts in the comments section, or on our Facebook page.

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Apr 01 by Andy Gillin

Distracted Driving Awareness Month Ignites Driver Safety Debate

As April and Distracted Driving Awareness Month rolls around, you can expect safety advocates and lawmakers to discuss the many dangers of distracted driving. But despite reports that distracted driving kills nearly 6,000 people and injures about 500,000 each year, some have said the impact of distracted driving on highway safety has been exaggerated. So in addition to information about technological solutions to car distractions and a star-studded awareness campaign, expect Distracted Driving Awareness Month to reignite the debate about whether or not we need to eliminate the dangerous practice.

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Jan 24 by Andy Gillin

Will Auto Technology Increase or Decrease Distracted Driving Car Accidents?

At this point, just about everyone is on the anti-distracted driving bandwagon. Safety advocates, major celebrities, cell phone companies and more have joined Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to raise awareness about eliminating the dangerous practice. There are some notable holdouts, including the US auto industry, which has enhanced navigation and entertainment systems to improve slumping sales. This week, LaHood will meet with the country’s major automakers to seek help for his anti-distraction campaign. This raises the question of what role technology will have in distracted driving this year and throughout the coming decade.

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Jan 12 by Andy Gillin

VIDEO: Cell Phone Companies Take On Distracted Driving Car Accidents

The fight against distracted driving started with parents who had lost a teenager to the dangerous practice. Soon, the fight picked up steam, earning high profile supporters like talk show mega-host Oprah Winfrey, and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Now, a sign that anti-distracted driving campaigns have reached the mainstream, cell phone companies are beginning to warn of the dangers of texting, typing, and talking behind the wheel. This week, mobile service provider AT&T released an 11 minute video titled “The Last Text” in order to show the impact of distracted driving from the point of view of those who have lost friends and family members.

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Jan 03 by Andy Gillin

“Glee” Star Jane Lynch Joins LG in Fight to Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents

Did you make any new years resolutions this winter? For the driving safety parent, cutting down on your child’s use of cell phones behind the wheel is a great resolution option. Each year, more than 6,000 teenagers are killed and nearly half a million are injured in accidents related to distracted driving. And safety advocates have said that many of these accidents can be avoided simply by raising awareness. Now, Glee star Jane Lynch has joined the fight against cell phone misuse in a series of videos produced by LG designed to help parents boost cell phone safety for their teens.

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Sep 20 by Andy Gillin

Distracted Driving Targetted by AAA, Seventeen Magazine, & Ray LaHood

It’s a big week for raising awareness about the dangers of driving while distracted. On Friday, AAA and Seventeen Magazine teamed up with the Department of Transportation to urge teenagers to take two seconds to turn off their cell phones before getting behind the wheel. And tomorrow, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will host the second annual Distracted Driving Summit in Washington DC. LaHood has been a tireless advocate against distracted driving, and I hope this month’s events will contribute to the movement to make distracted driving as taboo as drunk driving and ignoring seat belts.

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Aug 19 by Andy Gillin

Pets Join Cell Phones on Distracted Driving List

San Francisco isn’t the only region cracking down on distracted driving this month. Here in Contra Costa County, California Highway Patrol officers have cited more than 300 drivers this week for violating distracted driving laws which prohibit the use of handheld devices behind the wheel. On Wednesday, the CHP issued nearly 800 citations for the dangerous practice in the Bay Area as a whole, reports the Contra Costa Times.

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Apr 16 by Andy Gillin

Federal Distracted Driving Law Stalled by “States’ Rights”

Toyota recalls aside, the debate on distracted driving has been the month’s most compelling consumer issue. Over the past few years, eight states have banned the use of cell phone handsets while driving, and the dangers of such actions have been well documented in the main stream media. This Tuesday’s Pulitzer Prize announcements, for example, honored two New York Times articles exposing the serious risks of texting, typing, and talking in the car. On his blog, Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood applauded these articles in addition to television shows like Modern Family, The Office, and Glee, which have all promoted themes against distracted driving, the number one killer of teenagers.

Though this publicity helps Lahood’s goal to eradicate distracted driving, nationwide legislation against the practice continues to stall in congress.

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