Skip to content

OPLIN 4Cast #665: Is technology the answer to distracted driving?

Posted in 4cast, and cars

We all know that texting and driving don’t mix. Driving on the Pennsylvania turnpike this weekend, I saw at least one sign that said “THIS COULD BE YOUR LAST TEXT.” Distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kills 9 people and injures over a thousand, every day. Our love of the convenience of technology is literally dangerous, at least in a moving vehicle.

An old supervisor of mine had a saying that I still apply regularly to my work: “There are no good technological solutions for behavioral problems.” I have often found that to be true. Yet, that doesn’t seem to have stopped companies from trying to apply more technology to this issue. Or maybe they should have worked for my old boss?

  • Car Companies Sharpen Focus on Curbing Distracted Driving [Wall Street Journal] ” But in many cases, those built-in systems contribute to the problem because of glitchy software and difficult-to-use displays that can be distracting in their own right, say analysts and safety advocates. Even when these solutions work well, many motorists still have trouble breaking the habit of reaching for their phones. “
  • Australia uses new technology to catch drivers on phones [ABC News] ” An Australian state is attempting to persuade people to put down their smartphones while driving by rolling out cameras to prosecute distracted motorists.”
  • Distracted by Tech While Driving? The Answer May Be More Tech [New York Times] ” This advanced driver-assistance technology can automatically bring a vehicle to a stop when a collision is imminent, and lane-departure systems that keep the vehicle between the lines are immune to distraction. “
  • New in-vehicle tech distracts older drivers, study shows [Las Vegas Review Journal] ” Drivers between the ages of 55 and 75 were shown to have their eyes off the road for more than eight seconds longer than drivers ages 21-36 when using a navigation feature or tuning the radio, a AAA study revealed. “

From the Ohio Web Library: