Distracted Driving Summit: What to do about texting-while-driving?
Distracted Driving Summit eyes personal behavior; AAA sees a 'public health crisis'
Computerworld - Technology and new laws may have a role in curbing dangerous vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving while texting or using a cell phone or a music player. But federal officials today also put a major focus on driver responsibility.
At the kick-off of a two-day Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that new laws or better police enforcement can't on their own end distracted driving. "You can't legislate behavior," LaHood said. "Taking personal responsibility for our actions [while driving] is the key."
At the conclusion of the summit tomorrow, LaHood plans to announce steps his department is taking to combat the problem of accidents caused by distracted driving. In addition to cell phones, GPS devices or music players such as iPods, electronic billboards beside the road are also seen as a distraction for drivers.
New research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that nearly 6,000 people died in vehicle crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver in 2008, LaHood said, about one-sixth of the 37,000 vehicle deaths reported last year. About half a million people were injured in distracted driving crashes, he said, adding that on any given day in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a handheld cell phone.
To date, he noted, some 200 bills addressing distracted driving have been submitted to legislatures in 46 states.
However, experts on the first of several panels at the summit said distracted driving is a complex issue, noting that police officers often vary in how they report distracted driving. Quite often, police at crash scenes must rely on what drivers say they were doing just before a crash, and with a greater focus on the dangers of texting while driving, many drivers may not admit they were texting at the time, they noted.
"Drivers are less likely to admit distraction," said John Lee, a professor in industrial and systems engineering at University of Wisconsin in Madison. "Unlike alcohol that leaves a trace, there's no evidence."
As such, it's hard to quantify the number of crashes caused by distractions.
Lee pointed to evolving technology called "guide collision warning systems" that could help drivers "expand their field of view" to limit the impact of distractions. Those collision warning systems, now showing up in some expensive passenger vehicles, can give a drivers feedback if they're driving too close or facing another imminent danger. He said that such technology could also be used later to help a driver review when he was close to an accident at the end of a trip to help avoid similar situations in the future.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts