A hot topic today in traffic circles – no pun intended- is distracted driving. According to teensafe.com, distracted driving is responsible for 25% of all traffic fatalities of which ALL were preventable. Here are some other statistics from the article;
- Driver distraction is responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes.
- 80% percent of car crashes are attributed to the driver being distracted or not paying attention and,
- Each day 11 teens die as a result of distracted driving.
What do these statistics have to do with the Aurora Project? Well, for those who do not know, the Aurora Project is an installation by Can-Traffic and the City of Edmonton, Alberta that endeavors to generates wireless device to vehicle communication. The proper application of this technology can be utilized to warn drivers when pedestrians are crossing, when road conditions turn for the worse, when you are traveling too fast, when you are traveling too close to other drivers. A system like this can be used to communicate all sorts of pertinent and potentially life saving information directly to the driver. In the case of distracted driving, having information such as this relayed directly to the cab of the vehicle could mean the difference between life or death. The Aurora Project is just one small example of what cities and towns are doing to prepare for the future of traffic. With 62% of all distracted driver vehicle accidents being attributed to the mind wandering, keeping people’s minds engaged in driving will surely lower the rate of incidents. Until smart technologies arrives, and is readily available for all, there are many things we can do as motorists to do our part and reduce the risk associated with driving.
- Keep our cell phones put away, and refrain from texting while driving.
- Be alert while driving and aware of our surroundings.
- Avoid styling hair or applying make-up while driving.
- Relieve yourself- Driving while in need of a washroom can be very distracting.
- Try and avoid the distractions that’s passengers, children or pets in the vehicle may induce. Find a safe place to pull over and make for a safer environment.
- Avoid eating or drinking while driving. This only factors in to 2% of distracted driving incidents, but that number becomes less important when its us or one of our loved ones involved in a motor vehicle accident.
The bottom line is when you are driving you need to be DRIVING. Put all other things aside and focus on protecting the lives of the people with and around you and we will all be better off for it. Stay tuned to this blog for more advice on how to stay focused on the road.