A recent survey shows that 50 percent of parents and caregivers use cell phones while driving kids. Survey researchers asked 760 parents and regular caregivers of children ages 4-10 from 47 states about their cell phone behaviors with kids in the car during the three months prior to the study, which took place earlier this year. The survey was conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Approximately 52 percent of people surveyed said they talked on hands-free phones while behind the wheel, and 47 percent used handheld phones. Nearly 34 percent of parents and caregivers said they read texts while driving; almost 27 percent admitted to sending texts, and approximately 14 percent used social media while driving their most precious cargo! Another interesting and rather disturbing thing the survey found was that 14.5 percent of people surveyed didn’t use car seats or other child restraints with their young children. These respondents, as well as people who had a history of driving under the influence, were more likely to use cell phones while driving. Distracted Driving Crash Numbers People who use cell phones while driving children must wise-up and stop placing their children—and[…..]
Responsible people don’t get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink, yet they may not think twice about driving when they have had too little sleep. Unfortunately, these drowsy drivers put themselves and others at risk when they take to our streets and highways. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, which takes place November 4-11, was started to call attention to this dangerous driving habit. According to the National Sleep Foundation, which sponsors this annual public awareness campaign, 70 million people in the United States are sleep deprived or have sleep disorders and 50 percent of people admit to regularly getting behind the wheel when they are sleepy. Even more frightening for all of us on the nation’s roads, 40 percent of those who say they drive while drowsy have actually fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in their lives. Crashes Involving Drowsy Driving Every year 100,000 vehicle crashes that are reported to police involve drowsy driving, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The actual number of accidents that involve sleep-deprived drivers may be much higher than this number, however, because accidents are not always reported to police; even when they are, it[…..]
The majority of people who take vacations do so during the summer—that’s about 59 percent of us. Regardless of how you plan to vacation this summer or where you’re going, avoiding injury and staying safe should be one of your biggest concerns. We have some ideas that can help you do so. Safety While on the Road Do you plan to travel by car? Keep in mind that drivers tend to do 10 percent more distracted driving during the summer and spend 15 minutes of every hour in a distracted state. Here’s how to limit distraction: Know where you’re going, so you don’t have to consult maps. Keep in mind that GPS and paper maps may not be accurate. Especially don’t follow GPS blindly. Leave your phone alone, or give it to a passenger to monitor if you must have it on. Don’t multitask. Driving is Job One. Secure children and pets so they don’t distract you, and bring along items to keep the kids entertained. Carry an emergency kit and supplies should you become stranded, including water, protein bars, and other snacks. Use the “teddy bear system” to prevent leaving kids in hot cars because you were distracted. Keep[…..]
When you see a distracted driver on the road, perhaps you’ve wished for a magic “do not disturb” feature that would keep other folks’ minds on their driving. While no magic is involved, Apple has implemented a new iPhone function called Do Not Disturb While Driving with their latest operating system, iOS 11. If you have an iPhone or other Apple device, you may be able to update to iOS 11 and use the new function. iOS 11 was released on September 19, 2017. Helping Drivers Avoid Temptation Many people cannot resist the lure of text messages, even when they know they should not be looking. Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD) addresses the problem. The “Do Not Disturb” function has been available on iPhones for some time, but the new function takes things a step further. DNDWD can be set up to detect automatically when you’re driving, hiding messages and keeping your phone silent to prevent distraction. You can also configure DNDWD to send an automated reply to a texter that informs them you’re driving. Suppose you have a passenger? They can indicate to the phone that they are not the driver in order to disable the “locked” aspect[…..]
Almost all states in our nation ban texting on your phone while driving, a known contributor to the larger problem of distracted driving. Depending on the study cited, distracted driving is responsible for anywhere from less than 20 percent to nearly 70 percent of all accidents. It is a problem that keeps getting bigger regardless of the laws enacted. Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, believes the problem is underreported. “Oftentimes, drivers aren’t willing to admit that they were texting on their cellphone or they were distracted by some other source.” But in New York, they have a new approach. It’s called the Textalyzer. It’s Called What? Think of the Breathalyzer, which tests drivers for the presence of alcohol in their bodies. The Textalyzer operates on a similar idea. Normally, police would need a warrant to access data on a cell phone in order to prove distracted driving. But under a proposed new law in New York, drivers who had been in a crash would have to give up their phones to officers on the scene if asked for them. The officer could then access the phone’s operating system, checking for recent activity, via the Textalyzer, a[…..]
You may have seen the above slogan recently as part of this year’s Distracted Driving Awareness campaign. National in scope, the U Drive, U Text, U Pay enforcement blitz is aimed at reducing highway deaths caused by drivers who are distracted by any activities that take their attention off the task of driving, particularly texting. Are You Overestimating Your Driving Ability? A study by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has found that taking one’s eyes off the road for as little as two seconds can hamper safe driving. This is because even when the view is returned to the road, there is a period of readjustment which results in a lowered ability to react to potential hazards. In the Liberty Mutual study, researchers monitored the eye movements of experienced drivers, using a simulator, who were presented with a potential hazard — such as a pedestrian or a vehicle quickly pulling into traffic — immediately before a two-second interruption. They then observed whether the driver remembered to look for the hazard once their attention returned to the road. Even the brief two-second distraction tended to cause the drivers to forget what they had observed before the interruption, impairing their[…..]
A 20-year-old woman from Severn was recently arrested after cell phone records indicated that she had been texting while driving, causing a fatal accident. The woman drove her Chevrolet Cobalt in front of a Suzuki motorcycle on northbound Route 3. The motorcyclist suffered serious injuries and was taken to the Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where he passed away.