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 an insurance firm. 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.

Illegal To Use a Handheld Cell Phone Whilst Driving

In the United Kingdom, a law has just been passed which forbids drivers to use mobile phones whilst on the move. In fact, this is not quite true as the law has been around for some considerable time. Yet the authorities are cracking down on the use of mobile phones on the move and making it a more serious offense.

Up until February 1st, using a mobile phone on the move could lead to a fine of approximately $60. This was hardly a deterrent and people could be seen at all times using the telephone. There have been a number of instances when pedestrians have been killed because of drivers using mobile phones and losing control of their vehicles. The 60-dollar fine was not much of a deterrent for most people. Therefore, on the 1st of February the fine has been increased to $120 together with three points endorsement on the driving license.

This is thought to be able to produce a situation where people will think twice before using a mobile phone. Yet whether this will prove to be useful overall is debatable. The mobile phone has become an essential item for use at all times of the day and even at night.

The days are long past when the only way we could communicate with other people was if we were at home and near our land line phones. Now the mobile phone is useful for general communication and for more “important” communications involving the safety of children, loved ones, and relatives.

The risk of using a mobile phone only becomes noticeable at times when authorities such as the law enforcement are nearby in order to see the crime being perpetrated. The vast majority of car, and other vehicle, drivers will know that they are safe most of the time to use their mobile phone without being caught.