Page 1 of 1

2011 Distracted Driving News

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:00 pm
by MSI
Jan 2011: New year, new thread. For additional information please see these 4 other threads on the topic: Jan 20, 2011:A Short-Circuit to Distracted Driving
Article includes information on emerging technology to disable cell phones and texting when the phone is in a moving vehicle.

Re: 2011 Distracted Driving News

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:31 pm
by brian
Feb 27, 2011: NY Times: Maureen Down correctly is concerned with all the new distracting technology in cars today:
See Have You Driven a Smartphone Lately?.
which includes
  • "Remember when your car used to be a haven of peace from the world? Now it’s just a bigger, noisier and much more dangerously distracting smartphone."
This is a followup of her article Whirling Dervish Drivers which included:
  • "Ford cars with the elaborate and popular new “in-car connectivity” sounded like death traps"
    "Studies show that drivers who talk on cellphones are four times more likely to be in a crash and drive just as erratically as people with an 0.08 percent blood-alcohol level"
We couldn't agree more.

Re: 2011 Distracted Driving News

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:53 am
by brian
March 22, 2011: News & Observer: Interesting letter to the editor today:
  • I witnessed a cellphone-driving accident involving two UNC students in which the driver ran directly into a pedestrian. The driver had "inattention blindness" from driving while using a cellphone.
    The graph above from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center from the report Cell Phone Use While Driving in North Carolina: 2002 Update Report shows that cellphone driving provides the same risk as driving drunk, and does so whether the phone is hand-held or hands-free. The distraction is mental, not manual.
    Three bills are now proposed to ban cellphone driving in North Carolina. Discussing them, House Speaker Thom Tillis states that hands-free cellphone driving is acceptable. While no legislator would suggest that his child drink a six-pack then drive, according to the science, this is essentially what Tillis advocates.
    I ask the General Assembly to pass a complete ban on the use of cellphones while driving. Legislators may disagree with banning hands-free phones, but there are only two ways they logically can. They may reject the science, looking like tobacco executives rejecting the cigarette-cancer link. Alternatively, they may accept the science, but find something else more important, e.g., political support. In this case, I ask them to describe one phone call from their car that is important enough to justify endangering lives to the same extent as a drunk driver.
Joe Capowski
Chapel Hill
The writer is a former member of the Chapel Hill Town Council.
NSRC graphh.jpg
NSRC graphh.jpg (27.81 KiB) Viewed 5554 times

Re: 2011 Distracted Driving News

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:55 pm
by brian
Sep 13, 2011: NTSB calls for ban on use of mobile phones by commercial drivers; cites need for improved mediam barriers in accident that killed 11 in Kentucky
  • Citing distraction from the use of a mobile phone by the driver of an 18-wheel semi truck as the probable cause of a crash that killed 11 people, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended banning the use of mobile phones by commercial drivers except in emergencies.

    "Distracted driving is becoming increasingly prevalent, exacerbating the danger we encounter daily on our roadways," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "It can be especially lethal when the distracted driver is at the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 40 tons and travels at highway speeds."

    On March 26, 2010, at about 5:14 a.m. CDT, near Munfordville, Kentucky, a truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit driven by a 45-year-old male departed the left lane of southbound Interstate 65, crossed a 60-foot-wide median, struck and overrode a cable barrier system, entered the northbound travel lanes, and struck a 15-passenger van, driven by a 41-year-old male and occupied by 11 passengers (eight adults, two small children, and an infant). The truck driver and 10 of the 12 occupants of the van were killed.

    Investigators determined that the driver used his mobile phone for calls and text messages a total of 69 times while driving in the 24-hour period prior to the accident. The driver made four calls in the minutes leading up to the crash, making the last call at 5:14 a.m. CDT, coinciding with the time that the truck departed the highway.

    The Safety Board also determined that the median barrier system, which had recently been installed following another cross-median fatal accident on the same section of I-65, contributed to the severity of the accident because it was not designed to redirect or contain a vehicle of the accident truck's size. Because median crossover accidents involving large vehicles are so deadly, the NTSB made recommendations regarding the use of appropriately designed median barriers on roadways with high volumes of commercial vehicles.

    At the meeting today, the NTSB issued 15 new safety recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), all 50 states, and the District of Columbia. The Safety Board also reiterated two previously issued recommendations to the FMCSA.

    A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings, and a complete list of all the safety recommendations, is available on the NTSB's website. The NTSB's full report will be available on the website in several weeks.

Re: 2011 Distracted Driving News

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:57 am
by brian
Dec 14, 2011: The NTSB voted unanimously today for a nationwide ban on the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers.
From their recommendations:
  • (1) Ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers;
    (2) use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration model of high visibility enforcement to support these bans; and
    (3) implement targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and enforcement, and to warn them of the dangers associated with the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices while driving. (H-11-XX)
See NTSB recommends banning all cell phone use while driving