Distracted Driving by Carla Mooney

By Carla Mooney

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27 The analysis found that drivers who were lost in thought or daydreaming were responsible for 62 percent of the fatal distracted driving crashes. Cell phone use was a distant second, responsible for only 12 percent of fatal distracted driving crashes. As this study demonstrates, a ban on cell phone use while driving would not create safer conditions on the road and therefore would be pointless. In fact, states that prohibit drivers from using cell phones have not seen a reduction in car accidents.

61 Automakers Including Safety Features Safety is a priority for automakers, who are trying to balance it with customer convenience, according to Ericka Pfeifer, a Ford Motor Company spokesperson. “They don’t want you looking down at a map or reading text messages; they want it all to be audible so you can keep your eyes on the road and minimize that possibility for accidents,”71 says Pfeifer. In addition to designing safer, voice-controlled systems, automakers are also including new safety features in combination with in-car technologies.

Peter Kilmartin, Rhode Island attorney general. Quoted in Paul J. Spetrini, “RI’s Texting While Driving Law Proving Ineffective,” GoLocalProv, February 22, 2013. com. Consider these questions as you read: 1. How persuasive is the argument that new automotive technologies increase distracted driving risks? Which arguments are strongest, and why? 2. Will this argument change how you use in-car technology? Why or why not? 3. How do you think automakers should balance safety and technology? Editor’s note: The discussion that follows presents common arguments made in support of this perspective, reinforced by facts, quotes, and examples taken from various sources.

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