Summer Travel and Safety Tips

Summer Travel and Safety Tips

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[…..]

“Do Not Disturb While Driving”

Operating a Smartphone

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[…..]

Don’t Drive “Intexticated”

Distracted Driving

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[…..]

U Drive, U Text, U Pay

Texting While Driving

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[…..]