Evidence of distracted driving continues.to escalate. So many drivers are texting, talking, emailing, playing games, taking selfies on cell phones, eating, drinking, smoking, grooming, etc. The use of alcohol, with or without concomitant drug use, remains a major challenge. Speed limits, traffic lights, stop or yield signs have, to some become suggestions. Speeding, tailgating & failure to signal turns are common occurrences. Budgetary constraints place limits upon law enforcement—this also underscores need for attitude change. NHTSA data indicates that 40,200 Americans died in 2016, 40,100 in 2017 due to vehicular crashes plus about 2 million serious injuries & huge economic losses. This in spite of more than 20% of vehicles sold in 2017 were equipped with new safety features (Advanced Driver Assist Systems) To give this situation some perspective, approximately 6,800 US soldiers have died fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan combined over sixteen years.Consumer Reports, October 2013 says; “According to NHTSA, there were more than 3,000 traffic deaths involving distracted drivers in 2011, and 387,000 people were injured. But many experts think that these figures are both under reported & escalating. About 60% of non-injury crashes go unreported. Officers at an accident scene may have little or no evidence about whether a distraction contributed to the crash. And many police departments don’t record the use of cell phones or other causes of distracted driving in their accident reports. The National Safety Council says that “ at least 23% of all traffic crashes—or at least 1.3 million crashes—involve cell phone uses per year,” and that “ at least 100,000 additional crashes can be related to drivers who are texting.” We are having a mounting epidemic. State Farm study of 1000 drivers 18-29 found 64% reported talking on hand held phone;58% reported sending text; 48% browsed internet. NSC data-teens 16-19 more likely to be in fatal crash-2 million crashes 1st year of driving. Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating high school–2014-16 Greatest 2 year crash death increase in over half-century. Those under age 21 account for 6.6% of drivers & 21% of serious crashes. Of top 20 industrialized nations, US ranks #1 in crash rates per 100,000 miles driven. AAA driver survey shows that more than 50% admit to texting, speeding, or going thru red light in last 30 days. Vehicle insurance rates are to no surprise, increasing.
Wintertime driving-2 key elements;
2-INCREASE DISTANCES BETWEEN VEHICLES!
Here in Michigan & many other other northern states, road construction season is starting. Here is a look at how distracted driving affects these repairs.
A new bill is currently making its way through the Michigan legislature to hopefuly curb distracted driving accidents.
Listen to the interview Here
To catch distracted drivers, Michigan is using unmarked cars and drivers for a special enforcement. Read more about it here Ghost Drivers
As the epidemic of distracted driving gains more attention, new tools to monitor/ punish it are being developed. This is a good article on the pros and cons of just one such device.
Recently we had an essay posted on MLive that poses a unique framing of the current distracted driving epidemic.
Texting is a social virus that is spread through contact. While you may be able to fight it off, it has a very high re-infection rate. Much like that cold that keeps going around your office or school.
To read the full article follow the link below.
Recently, we were asked to appear on a local news station in a feature segment. The segment covered keeping teen drivers save during winter weather driving. The segment has received a lot of positive replies. Here is the link to the interview.
Consumer Reports recently published a new article on Distracted Driving. It details guidelines that the auto industry should be looking into to combat this rising issue. Please give it a read.
Consumer Reports Article