Tag Archives: texting and driving

Is There a Solution for Distracted Driving?

Paying attention while driving is the number one way to avoid distracted driving accidents. Not using a mobile device while behind the wheel can make all the difference. Using such a device while driving can have deadly results. Even though texting while driving is against the law in many states and localities, it hasn’t seemed to make much of a difference. According to the National Safety Council, in 2013 there were 1.1 million distracted driving accidents nationwide. The United States Department of Transportation cited over 3,000 fatalities and more than 400,000 injuries caused by some form of distracted driving.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving can involve a variety of actions. From using a cell phone to texting to eating while driving, all of these things can be considered to cause a distraction. Even just talking while behind the wheel to dealing with noisy kids in the backseat can take your attention off of the road. Using a hands free device does not offer much of a difference, although the perception is that it is a good solution. When your attention is elsewhere, there are studies that show you look, but do not actually see. In a study conducted by AAA even voice controlled systems take your attention away from the road. Just hearing the notification of an incoming text or email can divert attention at a critical time.

Is Driving Mode the Answer?

Driving mode disables the ability of the phone to receive calls,texts and other functions such as Facebook and gaming, but retaining the ability to use a navigation system and emergency communications as well. Unfortunately, most phones do not offer a true Driving Mode. Some phones do have a driving mode, but it is simply a feature which reads aloud a text or email. This can be a distraction as well.

A simple idea to motivate drivers to use such a system would be if the insurance companies would offer a discount to a driver who purchases a Driving Mode feature for their phone. A financial incentive may help this simple solution gain popularity and acceptance. Anything to curb the incidences of distracted driving accidents. It could save a life, maybe yours.

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Texting and Driving Can Kill

Texting and driving is downright dangerous, deadly and illegal. Why then, is it becoming more and more common? Particularly among young drivers. There have been several Orange County fatal car accidents recently in the news. The consequences of cell phone use or any distracted driving are severe, with fatal injuries on the rise.

Driving while using a cell phone has an effect on the brain, interfering with necessary cognitive awareness and functions which are important to be able to operate a car. There are specific spatial functions which can become impaired, such as memory processing. This involves the memory area of the brain, and is just one function of the brain which is necessary for safe driving. The ability to remember, and properly interpret what is seen can be affected by as much as 37 percent.

Driving while using a cell phone or text messaging while driving means that you are eight times more at risk of being involved in a car crash than someone who is not participating in distracted driving. Reaction times are slowed by anyone using a cell phone while driving. Things such as lane changes, control of the steering wheel and reaction times vary when using a cell phone or when something else distracts the driver.

Orange County fatal car accidents are on the rise, sadly. While most drivers would readily admit that distracted driving is dangerous, most participate in some form of distracted driving that could prove to be dangerous. Driving while using a cell phone isn’t worth the possible horrible consequences. It’s quite simple: Don’t do it.