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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in distracted driving debate

Very good article today in Forbes by David DiSalvo featuring an interview with Dr. David Simons (author of the bestselling book "The Invisible Gorilla").

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On the topic of distracted driving, Dr. Simons said:

  • The more attention we devote to gadgets, the less we have available to spot unexpected dangers. In part, the danger comes from our lack of awareness of our own limits. When we’re distracted, we don’t notice that we’re distracted.
  • What we can do is take steps to limit the consequences of those distractions when they matter most. Perhaps those problems can be addressed through technology (e.g., finding a way to prevent texting by a driver while still permitting it by passengers). But, doing so requires better recognition of the risk in the first place.

The full article can be found here.

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Technology Can Fix What It Broke

Posted by on in Opinion and Analysis

A great blog post by a master marketeer, Seth Godin, today. He comments on the unlikelihood of emotional appeals, such as the recent Werner Herzog short film, to change deeply entrenched values and behaviours in our culture:

  • The culture of the car as a haven, a roving office, and a place
    where you do what you like
  • The culture of the Marlboro man, no speed limiters in cars,
    'optional' speed limits on roads
  • The culture of connection and our fear of being left out
  • The culture of technology, and our bias to permit it first
    and ask questions later

He notes that part of the solution could be notifying others of a driver's status as they could be held liable for knowingly causing dangerous distractions. However, he summarizes the most "inexpensive, fast and effective" solution perfectly:

... when a phone is moving, don't permit it to accomplish certain tasks.

People won't die as a result.

It won't cost the companies a penny in profit.

And defenders of the status quo will scream about freedom and access and rights and how it used to be. They will worry about people on trains or passengers in carpools.

But you know what? It's better than being dead. Better than being the victim of the one out of three drivers I see who couldn't wait ...

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Safety Versus Freedom

Posted by on in Opinion and Analysis

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Nathan Seppa, of Science News, authored an excellent article last week entitled "Impactful Distraction - Talking while driving poses dangers that people seem unable to see."

The article touches upon many of the important issues in the distracted driving market including:

  • Competing interests between (a) science which has clearly established the dangers of distracted driving, (b) individual freedom which resists the government imposing regulations and (c) legislation which attempts to balance the interests of safety and freedom
  • Psychology that individuals believe distracted driving to be very dangerous for others but safe for themselves
  • Dangers of handsfree usage and the absence of legislation dealing with such dangers

There are several excellent infographics included in the article including the one shown below related to tunnel vision (or distractions which draw attention away from the routines that would provide a good representation of the driving environment) and "inattentional blindness" (or looking at something and not seeing it because the mind is elsewhere).

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Download PDF

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From One Second To The Next

Posted by on in Buzz and Sightings

Previously, I've written that "Learning Occurs Through Recognition Of Error" and we've authored numerous blog posts that deal with the challenges related to this precept when it comes to distracted driving.

For some people, numbers and analytic reasoning are compelling enough to force change. See the preceding blog post "2003-2013 By The Numbers".

For others, change is driven by an emotional reaction to crisis. Our friends at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have sponsored the creation of the documentary "From One Second To The Next" so that more people might effect change in their lives before facing their own personal tragedy related to distracted driving.

It is well worth taking thirty minutes to watch this compelling documentary.

http://youtu.be/_BqFkRwdFZ0

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2003-2013 By The Numbers

Posted by on in Opinion and Analysis

Regardless of our political beliefs, we can all agree that the loss of life in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade is tragic. But ABC News recently reminded us that, over the same 10 year period, we have lost more than five times as many lives to distracted driving accidents on our own highways here at home.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that distracted driving is a contributing factor in more than 386,000 injuries and more than 3,000 deaths every year.

To put that into perspective, you could fill any NFL stadium more than five times with the number of people who are injured by distracted drivers every year.

To put a finer point on it, in the last 10 years, America has lost five times as many husbands and wives, sons and daughters to distracted driving than to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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