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AAA and BWC Agree: Distracted Driving is Dangerous

Posted by: Noah Grunzweig @ April 29, 2014, 12:11 p.m.

Better World Club is taking a Pro-life position:  No unprotected Texts!!

New study shows the best drivers still pull over to ask their phones for directions.

Distracted Driving_josiah_mackenzie_irina

by Noah Grunzweig

While AAA has a long track record for fighting higher fuel standards, bike lanes, and smarter highway infrastructure in densely populated cities, there is one thing AAA has, by and large, done pretty well: driver safety.  We want to give props to AAA for their investment in research involving distracted driving.

Last summer, AAA assisted experts from the University of Utah in an in-depth analysis of cognitive distractions for drivers.  Last month, they echoed the results of that research as they expressed concerns about the proliferation of hands-free applications for drivers to engage – specifically expressing concerns about Apple’s Car Play

Hands-free devices have been the mobile tech industries response to distracted driving, and while having your hands free for response, the truth of the matter is that the distraction is not for your hands but for your mind.  Two hands do not respond faster than one if neither is receiving an alert from your brain.

Here is a report by the world health organization on the matter (see section 3.1.3 for hand-held vs.  hands-free) as well as some tragic examples: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 ...)

According to Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, all of the following are considered distracted driving:
• Texting
• Using a cell phone or smartphone
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Grooming
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player

Apple’s Car play may be designed to limit distractions for drivers, and that is a very positive move, but you should be mindful that all distractions are just that: Distractions. 

If you're interested in apps that help you alleviate the need to respond to every text, try: "Drive Safe Mode" on your phone, DriveScribe, Agent, or other apps that autoreply to your friends and loved ones when you are busy.

Here, BWC and AAA agree.  When it comes to driving, please, “distract yourself responsibly.”


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