Showing posts with label Distracted driving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Distracted driving. Show all posts

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Distracted Driving among Teens: What We Know about It and How to Prevent It

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
12:00 - 2:00 PM

Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and over 1,000 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. (1) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015 "Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes." (2) According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distraction was a factor in 58 percent of 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders. (3) Distracted driving includes activities such as using a cell phone, texting, and eating while driving. Using in-vehicle technologies like navigation systems or stereos, can also be a source of distraction. Engaging in any of these activities while driving poses a crash risk, endangering the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as other drivers. (2)

In this webinar, Dr. Ian Reagan of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) will explain what IIHS knows about distracted driving as a contributing factor in traffic collisions, contrasting teenage and older drivers throughout to underscore teens' over-representation in these crashes. The topics he will address include the prevalence of distraction in police-reported crash data and the suspect quality of these data. His presentation will conclude with a summary of research about the prevalence and crash risk of specific distracted driving behaviors identified in observational studies. Dr. Dennis Thomas of Dunlap and Associates, Inc. will review recent research studies that explored higher order skill development in teen drivers to increase their safety on the roadway. These studies all involved training young drivers to either better manage their glances at the roadway or anticipate hazards. The results focus on behavioral changes observed on live roadways or through analyses of crashes after exposure to the training.

National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2017, March). Distracted Driving 2015. (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report No. DOT HS 812 381). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Facts and Statistics. [cited 2016 Feb 23]; Available from:
Distraction and Teen Crashes: Even Worse than We Thought. (March 25, 2015). AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Ian Reagan, Ph.D. - Dr. Reagan is a senior research scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses - deaths, injuries and property damage - from motor vehicle crashes. As a human factors researcher, Dr. Reagan studies how drivers use and adapt to technology in their cars. Since joining IIHS in 2012, Dr. Reagan has conducted research on such topics as crash avoidance technologies and driver distraction. Previously, he worked for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a research psychologist. Dr. Reagan received a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in psychology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dennis Thomas, Ph.D. - Dr. Thomas's professional experience has encompassed a wide range of topics, but has been primarily focused on transportation safety. Dr. Thomas is the Vice President of Dunlap and Associates, Inc., a consulting firm which provides research and consulting services to government, industry and the legal profession, specializing in applying human factors, systems analysis and risk management techniques to assist clients in understanding and solving problems. Within the field of transportation safety, Dr. Thomas has worked on the development and evaluation of a number of safety programs for passenger vehicle drivers, commercial vehicle drivers, and pedestrians/bicyclists. He has conducted extensive nationwide reviews of traditional driver education programs, online driver education, and advanced driver education for teens. He has also evaluated state-of-the-art computer-based training programs aimed at teaching teens how to manage their glances or to anticipate potentially hazardous driving situations.

Monday, April 3, 2017

National Push to Tackle Distracted Driving Begins

CDOT Wants Real Stories About Distracted Driving Impacts

When you drive on any road or highway, there’s one thing you’re almost certain to see — distracted drivers. According to a recent survey of Colorado drivers, cell phone use behind the wheel is an ongoing threat in our state, with 22 percent admitting to reading a message while driving. Beyond messaging, 64 percent had selected entertainment on a mobile device and 33 percent had talked on a hand-held phone. To encourage all drivers to be aware of their digital addiction and drop the distraction, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol are joining in a national effort to recognize April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, bringing attention to the threat distracted drivers pose.

“The recent CDOT survey results highlight that while the distracted driving behaviors vary by gender or age, the distracted driving issue is not region specific and is truly a problem statewide,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “Coloradans are not paying attention to how dangerous distracted driving really is. CDOT plans to address this disconnect and our collective addiction to our phones this summer through our Drop the Distraction campaign.”

In 2016, CDOT introduced the Killer Habit distracted driving PSA as part of the Drop The Distraction campaign. The video equates distracted driving and our dependency on our phones as a digital addiction, often with deadly consequences. View the Killer Habit video here:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Most parents say they set limits on teen drivers—but teens don't always think so

Parents may intend to set strong limits on their teen drivers but their kids may not always be getting the message, a new nationally-representative poll suggests.

In families where parents reported limitations on their teen drivers—such as restricting cell phone use, number of teen passengers and driving times and locations—teens themselves sometimes said they did not have those limitations, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

"We know teen drivers are vulnerable to distractions while driving, and that they are also at the highest risk for crashes," says lead author Michelle L. Macy, M.D., M.S., an emergency medicine physician at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
"Parents play a key role in promoting the safety of their teens by setting expectations for driving. We found that the great majority of parents do have rules for their teen drivers; however, teens consistently perceive fewer limits on their driving than what their parents report. This signals an opportunity for parents and teens to have more conversations about safe driving habits."

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

20-year-old invents a device to stop teens texting behind the wheel

From: Mashable

Texting while driving was listed as the number one case of death among U.S. teens back in 2013. A recent Pew Research study said that 40% of all American teens claim to have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.

This sounds like an epidemic — and perhaps it's one that technology can cure. T.J. Evarts, a 20-year-old inventor, has come up with a novel solution that could easily put texting drivers on notice.

It's called Smart Wheel, and it is designed to fit over the steering wheel of most standard vehicles — tracking whether or not the driver has two hands on the wheel at all times.

When teens learn to drive, they are careful to place both hands on the wheel at the traditional "10" and "2" positions (as in 10 o' clock and 2 o' clock). But as soon as they get their driver's license, they start driving with one hand on the wheel and, often, the other on their cellphone.

Evert's invention tracks when drivers hold the wheel with one hand and will warns them with a light and a buzzing sound. When they place both hands back on the wheel the light turns back to green and the buzzing stops. It also watches for what's called "adjacent hands," where both hands are close together near the top of the wheel so the driver can both thumb type and drive at the same time.

Smart Wheel slides over any standard steering wheel and tracks how you hold it when you drive.

All the data the Smart Wheel collects is also sent to a connected app, so any parents who install the Smart Wheel can keep track of the teen's driving habits. If they try to remove or tamper with the cover, that's reported as well.

Evarts told us he was inspired to create the Smart Cover by watching his own friend's driving habits and realizing there was nothing out there to help them.

This isn't his first invention, but it is the first one he's seen become an actual product. Evarts is now the CEO of his own company.

The all-leather Smart Wheel should come out later this year and retail for $199.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teens Know Dangers of Driving and Cellphone Use, Yet Do It Anyway, Penn Research Shows

From: PennNews

What happens when “Tom Hanks,” “Tom Cruise” and “Kesha” sit around a table? When the talkers are actually teens using researcher-requested pseudonyms they chose to anonymously discuss their driving habits, the results are surprising, maybe even more so than if the real celebrities got together.

Specifically, the 16- to 18-year-olds were examining distracted driving, one of seven such conversations that took place with 30 teens. “We like to think about it as driver inattention,” said Catherine McDonald, assistant professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and in the Perelman School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. “We think about inattention relative to their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on the task of driving.”

McDonald, who led the study and is also part of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at theChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia, along with Marilyn (Lynn) Sommers, the Lillian S. Brunner Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing at Penn Nursing, conducted the focus groups during summer 2014 and then analyzed what they learned. They published their findings in the journal Traffic Injury Preventionand in October, presented them at the annual Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine conference.

Their ultimate goal, what they’re working on now, is to develop an intervention to keep teens safe on the roadways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes kill more teens each year than anything else.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Survey compares distracted driving habits of teens and adults

From:  wtop — Teenagers often get a bad rap for distracted driving, but a new survey from AAA finds that adults are guilty of more of the bad behavior.

The survey reveals:The 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index, a survey conducted in July and August of this year, looks at teen driving habits and their patterns of distraction behind the wheel.

Seventy-four percent of drivers ages 16-18 say texting or emailing while driving is completely unacceptable.
  • One in three teens report having done so in the last month.
  • Nearly half of drivers ages 16-18 report having read a text message or email while driving in the last month.
  • Three out of five drivers ages 16-18 report having talked on a cellphone of any kind while driving in the last month.
But when those statistics are compared to those for adults, teenage drivers don’t look so bad.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Texting at the light and other forms of device distraction behind the wheel

Cell phones are a well-known source of distraction for drivers, and owing to the proliferation of text messaging services, web browsers and interactive apps, modern devices provide ever-increasing temptation for drivers to take their eyes off the road. Although it is probably obvious that drivers’ manual engagement of a device while their vehicles are in motion is potentially dangerous, it may not be clear that such engagement when the vehicle is at rest (an activity broadly labeled “texting at the light”) can also impose risks. For one thing, a distracted driver at rest may fail to respond quickly to sudden changes in road conditions, such as an ambulance passing through. In addition, texting at the light may decrease so-called “situational awareness” and lead to driving errors even after the device is put down.

Access the full research article at BMC Public Health.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Teens With ADHD Are 4 Times More Likely To Be In Car Accident Than Non-ADHD Peers

In light of October being National ADHD Awareness Month, authors of the book "What Teenage Drivers Don't Know: The Unwritten Rules of the Road" provide driving tips of teenagers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who are four times more likely to be in a car accident than their non-ADHD peers.

In light of October being National ADHD Awareness Month, authors of the book "What Teenage Drivers Don't Know: The Unwritten Rules of the Road" provide driving tips of teenagers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who are four times more likely to be in a car accident than their non-ADHD peers.

According to a press release on PRNewswire, the book also gives parents advice on how to deal with the anxiety that comes with handing the car keys to a teen.

"We believe every parent and young teen in America should have access to this book," explains co-author John Harmata. "In particular, parents of children with ADHD should start instilling the lessons of good driving as early as age 13 or 14. Our book covers what driver's education leaves out, such as handling bad weather or night driving, maintaining a vehicle and navigating the traffic court system."

Monday, October 5, 2015

The much anticipated Celebrate my Drive Campaign is now live!

See Celebrate My Drive for all the details.

Program overview:
22 grants of $100,000 will be awarded to high schools
One winner will also receive a concert by the band Echosmith

How do schools Enter to Win?
From October 12-25, 2015, your school's administrator must submit a picture or video of how your school raises awareness for #Drive2N2, answer 4 questions and provide a brief write-up about why your school deserves to win.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Drive Smart: Talk to Your Teen About the "5 to Drive"

National Teen Driver Safety Week will take place Oct. 18-24. With that in mind, we thought we’d share with you five tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The “5 to Drive” campaign highlights the five necessary rules that teen drivers need to follow to stay safely behind the wheel. These rules address the greatest dangers for teen drivers: alcohol, texting, seat belts, speeding, and extra passengers.
1. No Drinking and Driving: Set a good example by not driving after drinking. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix no matter your age.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Even Self-Proclaimed 'Safe' Teen Drivers Play With Their Phones Behind The Wheel

From: Huffington Post

If you think a 9-to-5 schedule is tough, be glad you're not a high schooler. Their schedules are packed with activities -- sports, community service, yearbook club, AP tests -- to help them make it into college, and their smartphones provide an easy way to constantly obsess over whatever their friends are doing.

That sounds like a recipe for 24/7 stress -- and a new survey suggests it all could have fatal consequences when teens get behind the wheel.

Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance on Tuesday released the results of a recent study indicating that an "always-on" lifestyle can lead to dangerous driving habits. The groups report that 52 percent of teens surveyed get less than six hours of sleep every night during the week, though the National Sleep Foundation says they should be getting eight to 10.

Worse, these drowsy drivers are glued to their smartphones: 34 percent of teens in the study said they glance at app notifications when they're driving, and 88 percent of those who consider themselves "safe" drivers confess to using apps when they're behind the wheel. (A spokesman for Liberty Mutual told The Huffington Post that a previous version of the study's press release erroneously stated that 48 percent of surveyed teens look at app notifications when driving.)

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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Talking, texting not the only forms of distracted driving

From: 8 NewsNow

Talking and texting on your phone aren't the only ways to be distracted while driving.

A new report released by AT&T shows a third of people admitted to checking email, a quarter of people say they check Facebook or surf the web and others admitted to shooting video or snapping pictures while behind the wheel.

The report still lists texting as the most common mistake.

Nevada Highway Patrol says any of those distractions while driving can lead to serious crashes that could injure or kill someone else. Even though it's against the law, NHP says more people are doing it and even staying on the phone longer than even before.

Marilyn Green has been driving for about 45 years and she says it's easy to get distracted on the road more than ever.

"It's very scary," said Green. "It really is because I know even sometimes when you go to change the radio you're taking your eyes off the road for two seconds."

While driving she says she tucks her phone away, but that's not the case with everyone.

According to the report by AT&T, more than 60 percent of drivers keep their cellphone within easy reach and text often.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Teen texting and driving dips with state laws

From: Reuters Health

According to a new analysis of nationwide surveys, teens report less texting while driving in the years following statewide bans. But texting while driving rates are still high, the researchers found.

“We have amazing technology at our fingertips, but it can be destructive,” said senior investigator Dr. Andrew Adesman of Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.

Rates of texting while driving seem to be declining, “which is great,” he told Reuters Health by phone. But, he added, almost a third of teens still report doing it within the previous month.

The researchers used the 2011 and 2013 rounds of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, which for the first time included questions about texting and driving over the previous 30 days.

The nationally representative survey of high school students is done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fourteen states passed laws banning texting while driving between 2011 and 2013. In these states, the self-reported rates of texting and driving decreased from 43 percent to almost 31 percent, down to levels similar to states with bans that had been established for more than five years.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blocking smartphone use by teen drivers may reduce crash risks

From: Reuters Health

Filming teens while they drive and blocking cell phone signals inside their cars may both help reduce distractions that lead to crashes, a small study suggests.

"We found a large, significant reduction in high-risk driving events like hard braking and sudden swerving," said lead study author Dr. Beth Ebel, director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

The number of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes has dropped by more than half over the past decade as safer vehicles hit the road and more young people received restricted licenses, according to a recent U.S. report.

But crashes remain a leading cause of preventable death for U.S. teens, said Ebel, who presented the study findings today at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego.

For six months, she and her colleagues followed 29 drivers, ages 15 to 18. Some drove with in-vehicle cameras, some were recorded and also had cell phone signals blocked inside the car, and a third group had no intervention.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April is distracted driving awareness month

From: abc23

The United States Department of Transportation has proclaimed April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

There are three distinct types of distracted driving: physical, visual, and audial/cognitive. Physical distractions involve taking one's hands off the wheel and include eating, drinking, changing the radio/GPS, applying make-up, reaching for items in car, children and pets.

Visual distractions involve taking one's eyes off the road and include texting, emailing, dialing, reading, looking at the radio/GPS, and watching movies. Audial or cognitive distractions involve taking one’s mind off the road and include talking on phone, car conversations, books on tape, music, etc.

The most popular and dangerous form of distracted driving is texting while driving.

This distraction continues to be a growing issue that puts not only the “texter” at risk of being in an accident, but also passengers and innocent bystanders. Texting and driving makes it 23 times more likely that an accident will occur.

Some studies now show that texting and driving is equivalent to driving after drinking four beers. In 2012, about 1.3 million crashes involved cell phones. Teens are the most likely to text while driving, with approximately 77% of teens having admitted to texting while driving.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Texting Bans Tied to Drop in Car Crash Injuries

From: Medline Plus

Most U.S. states now have bans on texting while driving, and those laws may be preventing some serious traffic accidents, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that car-crash hospitalizations dipped in states that instituted relatively strict bans on texting and driving between 2003 and 2010.

Overall, the hospitalization rate in those states declined by 7 percent versus states with no bans, the researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health.

The findings cannot prove that texting bans caused the shift, said study leader Alva Ferdinand, an assistant professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health.

But, she added, her team tried to account for the other factors that could explain the decline -- like laws on speeding, drunk driving, handheld cellphones and teen driving restrictions.

And texting bans were still linked to a decline in hospitalizations for traffic accidents.

Specifically, the benefit was seen in states with "primarily enforced" texting bans, Ferdinand said.

That means law enforcement can pull drivers over just on suspicion of texting.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Register for Improving Colorado's Road Health Summit

The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are pleased to announce that registration for the Improving Colorado’s Road Health Summit is now available! Please join other traffic safety partners in Keystone on June 3- 5 to discuss current and emerging traffic safety issues including older driver safety, distracted driving, and marijuana impaired driving. Participants will have the opportunity to hear various presentations, participate in interactive panels and discuss evidence-based policies to improve Colorado's road health. Scholarships are available for room costs. Details are in the registration section.

Please go to to register. The preliminary agenda, CarFit pre-summit materials, and logistic information can also be found on this site and will be updated as new information becomes available.