The numbers don’t lie: 37,150 people in the US died from distracted driving in 2017. But sadly, that’s not the worst part of the news. Researchers are discovering that there is no single cause for preventing distracted driving.
This means that there is no direct route to a solution that results in more and more deaths. Right now, the only thing that has been shown to work is raising awareness of distracted driving.
Another thing experts are deciding to test is how to make smartphone-to-car connectivity pay less attention. Almost every new car on the market makes it easy to connect your phone to your car.
You can stream music, assign addresses, and in some cases even order food, coffee, and more. This is drawing many drivers’ attention away from the road, with 17-22 year old drivers spending at least 12% of their time behind the wheel playing with their smartphones. Any percentage of time on your phone behind the wheel is too much time off the road.
Both Apple and Android have their own car extensions. At one point, Apple demanded more customer attention than the Android version when entering addresses and getting from one place to another. But, when it came to texting, Android was a much bigger distraction. However, both of you should make a change to reduce the threat of distracted driving.
With all the new technology in cars, come inward-facing cameras. Some people disagree with that for privacy reasons, which is understandable up to a point, it’s a basic right, in the eyes of most people. However, these cameras can help develop autonomous vehicles with the data they collect. Plus, it may be our answer to solving the distracted driving epidemic.
The data collected by the cameras from the crashes and daily driving habits can be analyzed by experts to determine how to make new technology in vehicles less cognitively demanding or even develop an algorithm to avoid inappropriate use while the vehicle is in motion. .
But how much privacy are consumers really willing to give up? How much of your data are companies entitled to? Right now, there isn’t much regulation, but it will probably come soon, as new cars will soon all have this technology.
There must be some kind of compromise because when this data is used properly, breakthroughs can occur. For example, much of the tracking built into these cars can prevent crime. Much of the information provided can solve the mystery of crashes, including distracted driving crashes, and spark ideas on how to prevent them. The results can save money on auto insurance, medical bills, and most importantly, lives that are priceless.
Ultimately, however, it is up to drivers to stop practicing distracted driving habits. Remember, distracted driving doesn’t just come from car and cell phone functions that take your eyes off the road. It also includes eating, drinking, putting on makeup, and more. It must be stopped to reduce the number of accidents and victims.