Distracted Drivers: Accidents Waiting to Happen

 

Distracted DriverMobile technology is often blamed for road accidents, but that’s just where many motorists are seeking solutions.

When we talk about technology distracting us in cars, it tends to invoke images of inexperienced teens making calls, checking texts and contributing to the already horrifying road death statistics. Indeed, auto insurer AAMI says 86 per cent of drivers aged 18 to 24 admit distracted driving in the past year, with 14 per cent admitting to taking selfies or videos while behind the wheel and 17 per cent having had a near miss because they were using a phone or tablet.

But technology-driven driver distraction is much more nuanced and the solution far from simple. Plenty of companies claim they have an answer – many of them using mobile technology – but is there a happy medium? Do we ban communication devices in cars altogether, or let the apps and anti-distraction tools into our cars, hoping they work?

It doesn’t help that some solutions we think of as safe may do more harm than good. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently reported that although 75 per cent of US drivers think hands-free phone devices are safe to use in cars, they actually increase mental distraction.

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