Showing posts with label Winnable Battles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winnable Battles. Show all posts

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.

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.

Monday, August 17, 2015

U-M and Kohl's launch campaign to reduce distracted driving among teens

From: MarketWatch

It's a contract full of such vows as "I will find sunglasses before driving," "I will wait until stopped to search for music" and "I will rely on passengers to make calls or text for me" - signed by teens before hitting the road as new drivers.

The teen-parent driving agreement is just one of the many free online tools offered to young drivers, parents, families, schools and communities through the new Kohl's Drive Smart initiative launched this summer.

A $299,497 grant from Kohl's Department Stores is made possible through the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl's sells $5 books and plush toys, where 100 percent of net profit benefits children's health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. The grant has allowed the pediatric trauma program at University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital to develop a novel, evidence-based program designed to reduce distracted teen driving. The program was developed in conjunction with U-M Injury Center and U-M Transportation Research Institute.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Campaign Targets Parents Of Teen Drivers

From: NBC 6

The “Driving the Right Message” campaign’s goal is to educate parents about the important role they play in keeping their teen safe at the wheel. Sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the campaign will reach parents through a variety of methods, including movie theater and gas pump topper ads, web site ads and posters. The campaign’s logo includes a QR code that takes parents to the web site which provides resources and tools about how to keep teen drivers safe.

“This campaign is another way to make a positive impact on teen-related crashes,” said Courtney Phillips, DHHS Chief Executive Officer. “By educating parents about their important role in teen driver safety, we are also helping teens become responsible, skilled drivers.”

With motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death for Nebraska’s teen drivers, parental involvement is crucial. Parents who are supportive and involved with their teen driver can lower their teen’s crash risk by 50 percent. Modeling safe driving practices such as always using a seat belt, no cell phone use and driving the speed limit also makes an impact.

The statistics show teen drivers with involved parents are more apt to have safer driving behaviors. They are twice as likely to use their seat belt, 70 percent less likely to drink and drive, half as likely to speed, 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving, and significantly less likely to drive with multiple passengers.

“Parents play a key role, and when they talk to their teens about safe driving, they are helping to prevent car crashes," said Judy Martin, Deputy Director of Community and Environmental Health of DHHS. "We hope that this campaign will spark a conversation between parents and their teen driver."

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.

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, May 28, 2015

Staying safe during the '100 Deadliest Days' for teen drivers

We are entering the 100 deadliest days on the road, for teenage drivers.

The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, are considered dangerous for teens, as more people are getting out and about on our roadways.

Colorado State Patrol says during the 100 days in 2012, there were about 1,000 crashes nationally that involved a teen drivers. Over 500 of those crashes resulted in a teen fatality.

One way law enforcement is working to keep our teens safe, is through the Colorado graduated drivers license. It includes restrictions for teens, including driving curfews and the number of passengers a driver may have in the vehicle.

According to AAA, an average of 261 teens die during each of the summer months in road crashes. That's a 26-percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

CSP says it's important for teens to always wear a seat belt, don't have extra passengers, keep distractions to a minimum, and make sure to never get behind a wheel while intoxicated.

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.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The National Organizations for Youth Safety is Sponsoring a Spring Seat Belts Save Challenge.

The Spring Seat Belts Save Challenge is a "campaign designed to educate teen drivers about the dangers of riding in a car without wearing a seat belt (in any seat in the car) and increase the number of teens who regularly wear a seat belt in the car."

Click here for more information and to take the challenge

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Developing a Community-Based Car Seat Program

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury and death to children in the United States. By developing a community-based car seat program, complete with community partners, we can impact the severity of injuries and reduce the death rates.

By bringing together all stakeholders to discuss motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of injury and death to children in our community, Safe Kids Larimer County CO was able to develop a comprehensive, coordinated effort using the Community Guide to Preventative Services recommendations. This collaborative effort has helped to address this community’s health needs and address health disparities. Their approach has also helped foster community relationships, prevent burnout of Child Passenger Safety Technicians, and increase their collective impact.

Death rates for children in motor vehicle crashes and injury rates have declined and the number of children properly restrained in car seats has increased since the inception of the program in 2002. Community partnerships/relationships have been strengthened.

In order to impact injury due to motor vehicle crashes there must be a coordinated and comprehensive approach. Safe Kids Larimer County has demonstrated how to work with all entities for the greater good of keeping our kids safe. This program has been successful due to the partnerships built and is being replicated throughout the state.

Safe Kids Larimer County can assist other communities in replicating our success to make an impact on motor vehicle injuries and deaths to children by sharing our resources.

Purchase the full study

Friday, May 1, 2015

Having Mom in the Car Changes Teen Driver's Brain

From: Yahoo News

In a bittersweet rite of passage, each year a new crop of parents buckles up for their teens' first time behind the wheel. Now, a new study suggests that their mother's watchful eye helps teens learn to make safer decisions while driving.

In the study, researchers designed a driving simulation test that actually encouraged risk-taking behavior, and asked 25 teens to complete the simulation as quickly as possible. At each of the 26 intersections in the simulation, the teens had the option to stop for a yellow light, which would cause a three-second delay, or speed through the light — which was the fastest option — if they didn't crash. If they did crash, it caused a six-second delay in their total time. The teens went through the course once each on their own, and once under the gaze of mom.

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.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Utah gets tougher seat belt law with governor’s signature

From:  St. George News

A bill toughening the state’s seat belt laws for a three-year trial period was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert Monday.

House Bill 79, the Safety Belt Law Amendments, creates a three-year pilot program that makes not wearing a seat belt a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can stop drivers for the offense alone. Before HB 79, not using the seat belt was a secondary offense, meaning the officer had to pull a car over for some other reason first.

Under the pilot program, a driver or a passenger 16 years and older who is not wearing a seat belt can be issued a warning on first offense, and a $45 citation on the second offense. The fine can be waived by taking a 30-minute course approved by the Utah Department of Safety.

After the trial period, the pilot program will sunset and seat belt offenses from July 1, 2018, and following may only be brought against anyone 19 or older and only then if they are pulled over for a violation other than failure to wear a seat belt.

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.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Creating Cultural Change in Teen Driving:
Webinar Series on How to Effectively Build and Grow Your Initiative

Join your peers of program managers, injury prevention specialists, family advocates, parent and teen organizations and many others for the first part of a FREE webinar series brought to you by the National Safety Council with support from The Allstate Foundation. We will be discussing effective ways to build achievable plans around transportation safety initiatives with examples from promising and proven teen safe driving projects. This webinar series will discuss the proven pillars of culture change related to teen driving: policy, policing, population and publicity. Webinar attendees will learn about:

“Proven and Promising Programs to Reach Parents” - April 28
“How to Find the Right Financial Partner for Your Teen/Parent Engagement Program” - May 26

The next webinar will be focused on creating a solid curriculum in:

“Proven and Promising Programs to Reach Parents”

Live 60-minute Webinar: April 28, 2015 at 1 p.m. CST

Click here to register for the event.

National Safety Council 1121 Spring Lake Dr Itasca, IL 60143-3201 United States

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.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Crash after crash, AAA video shows dangers of distracted driving

A new study is exposing a disturbing trend among teen drivers. AAA reports distraction was a factor in nearly six of 10 moderate or severe accidents involving teenagers.

And car crashes are the leading cause of death for American teens.