Tuesday, July 21, 2015

More Cell Distractions

From:  Insurance Journal

It doesn’t take using a cell phone to cause driver distraction. Simply hearing a cell phone notification “ding” is enough to impair a person’s ability to focus on a given task — such as driving.

That’s according to a new study by Florida State University that found the distraction caused by a simple notification — an incoming phone call or text by a trendy ringtone, an alarm bell or a quiet vibration — is comparable to the effects seen when users actively use their cell phones to make calls or send text messages.

“The level of how much it affected the task at hand was really shocking,” said Courtney Yehnert, an FSU research coordinator who worked on the study.

The study, “The Attentional Cost of Receiving a Cell Notification,” was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. This is the first study to examine the effect of cell phone notifications on performance.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Join MADD Colorado for Walk Like MADD!

Every step taken and every dollar raised will help increase awareness and support the work of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to make our communities safer and serve the victims of drunk driving crashes. 100% of funds raised stay in Colorado to support MADD’s work in local communities.

Saturday, August 1, 2015 Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver, CO

Saturday, July 18, 2015 Bear Creek Park, Colorado Springs, CO

For more info, please contact MADD Colorado at (303) 425-5902

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Report Finds Parents in the Dark about their Teens’ Driving Habits

A report from The Allstate Foundation finds many parents are largely unaware that their teens are speeding, driving while distracted, and even driving under the influence. Making matters worse, teens may be picking up these same behaviors from their parents.

The findings were released in the Foundation’s new Driving Change Report. Among the key data:
  • Seventy-nine percent (79 percent) of teens admit to speeding, but only 55 percent of parents believe their teens speed.
  • Ninety-five percent (95 percent) of teens admit to getting a moving violation; only 79 percent of parents believe their teens have committed an offense.
  • Twenty-three percent (23 percent) of teens admit they’ve driven after drinking alcohol and/or using marijuana, but only 7 percent of parents believe their teens have driven under the influence.
  • Eighty-seven percent (87 percent) of teens admit to using cellphones while driving, but only 63 percent of parents say their teens use phones while driving.

The report also found that parents are engaged in some of the same risky behaviors as their teens:
  • Eighty-four percent (84 percent) of parents admit to speeding (compared to 79 percent of teens).
  • Eighty-eight percent (88 percent) of parents say they use their phones while driving (compared to 87 percent of teens).
“Teens continue to tell us that their parents are the number one influence on how they drive, so as parents we have an important responsibility to model good driving behaviors,” added Sorenson. “We must find new and compelling ways to motivate teens and parents to engage in safe driving habits.”

For more information about Driving Change, visit http://TenYearsofDrivingChange.com.

For more video footage visit http://AllStateNewsRoom.com/

Friday, June 26, 2015

Are drivers getting high from behind-the-wheel phone use?

A new survey reveals drivers are ignoring warnings about the risks of distractions behind the wheel, CBS News' Kris Van Cleave reports.

AT&T found that as many as one in 10 drivers could be video-chatting on their drive home. It also found 61 percent admitted to texting and driving, a third check their email and 17 percent admitted to taking a steering-wheel selfie.

Furthermore, 30 percent of drivers who admitted to checking Twitter behind the wheel said they were doing it all the time, despite the fact that 46 states prohibit texting and driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distracted driving caused over 3,100 deaths in 2013. Safety experts say drivers are about three times more likely to crash if they're dialing a number on the phone while driving and 23 times more likely texting and driving.
Despite the widespread understanding of the dangers of distracted driving, motorists are doing it anyway.

Twenty-two percent of the people surveyed who access a social network while driving gave "addiction" as the reason.

"In essence, it's a drug, or what I call a digital drug," Dr. David Greenfield said.

He founded the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction at the University of Connecticut.

Greenfield worked with AT&T on the survey and believes people get a high from using their cellphone behind the wheel similar to playing a slot machine.
"The reward comes in an unpredictable fashion, both in terms of what, when and where; and when the reward comes and it's positive and you actually like it, that's going to elevate the amount of dopamine in your brain, which is a pleasure chemical. It increases the likelihood of wanting to do it," Greenfield said.

There are apps available to prevent motorists from using their phones but have struggled to catch on.

One Australian company, Seeing Machines, has a different solution. It's developing a steering wheel-mounted device that tracks the driver's eye movements and triggers an alert when the person behind the wheel shows signs of distraction or being drowsy.

"We now have technologies in cars that will detect when you're doing the wrong thing and perhaps lock out behaviors that you shouldn't be doing," CNET editor at large Brian Cooley said. "This is talking about shaming people into a better behavior."

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ticketing just for seat belt violations cuts crash deaths

From:  Reuters Health

Fewer people die in motor vehicle crashes when drivers can be ticketed for seat belt violations even if they haven’t broken other laws, a U.S. study finds.

Researchers analyzed fatalities from 2001 to 2010 and found states with so-called primary seat belt laws - which allow traffic stops just for failure to wear seat belts - had death rates 17 percent lower than states with so-called secondary seat belt laws, which permit tickets only in conjunction with other violations.

“If a person thinks they are unlikely to be ticketed for any reason when in a car, then they also think odds they would get cited for not wearing a seat belt would be extremely low,” said lead researcher Dr. Lois Lee from Boston Children’s Hospital.

Lee and colleagues identified 283,183 crash fatalities among vehicle occupants age 10 and older over the course of the study period. Younger passengers were excluded because they might have been using child safety seats or booster seats instead of seat belts.

In 2001, on average, out of every 100,000 people, 14.6 died in a motor vehicle accident, the study found. That year, 16 states had primary seat belt laws and 33 had secondary seat belt laws.

By 2010, 30 states had primary seat belt laws and the average fatality rate dropped to 9.7 people per 100,000.

That year, states with primary and secondary laws didn’t differ significantly in the percentages of vehicles older than five years old involved in crashes, speeding-related accidents, crashes due to bad weather or drunk driving collisions.

But the percentage of crashes in which no restraint was used was significantly lower in states with primary laws than in those with secondary laws.

Friday, June 19, 2015