Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Conscious Driving Is a Choice - Compounded by the Rise of In-Vehicle Technology

March 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Paying attention to the road while driving is imperative for safety, however, many people believe they can safely take on even more distractions due to the increase in vehicle technology.

For years drivers have had the option of manually setting controls for things like headlamps, windshield wipers, temperature and fan speed, radio and turn signals while driving. With voice-activated Bluetooth cellphone connectivity and a multitude of other conveniences, it seems that technology is crowding the field in the contest to win a driver's undivided attention to the road.

A study by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are more than 285 million wireless phone users in the United States. The NHTSA further estimates that at any given time 11 percent of the all drivers on the road are using a cellphone. Studies indicate that the number one cause of death, for persons aged three to 34 years of age, is a fatality from a vehicle crash.

The 2008 National Safety Council (NSC) report stated that about 25% of all vehicle crashes involved the driver using a cellphone. By the year 2010 the figure rose to 28% of all car crashes were caused or partially caused by cellphones.

It's easy to see the correlation between cellphone usage and the increased potential for distractions in today's newer vehicle. A major fallacy is that most people believe in the term "multi-tasking." The idea is that with a little training and experience a driver can easily handle multiple functions and still maintain good driving technique. However, multiple studies have shown that the brain can only effectively handle one task effectively at one time. Additional tasks reduce the ability to stay focused on the initial task at hand.

A March 2010 White Paper by the NSC entitled "Understanding the distracted brain," shows study after study that indicates that even using "hands-free" devices in the vehicle lowers a driver's reaction times. The study also concludes that actually dialing and holding a cellphone while driving changes the reaction times of a driver so much that their responses are similar to someone who has been drinking alcohol.

More than 200 state bills have been introduced to ban cellphone usage (texting and talking) while driving. Federal employees are now banned from texting and driving. Effective January 1, 2012, commercial drivers have been put on notice to not use a hand-held phone while driving for talking or texting. In mid-March 2012, a bill, entitled Kelsey's Law, advanced through the Michigan state senate. This law, named after a young driver that was distracted and killed while talking on a cellphone, would prohibit a certain drivers from using a cellphone.

At the core of these proposed bills is the thought that distractions while driving are the result of "inattention blindness." A variety of studies show that a driver's ability to scan across the approaching roadway field of view is severely hampered when more distractions are present in a vehicle. It's one thing to be driving, listening to a radio and talking to a passenger in the vehicle. It's another, more complicated, scenario when the driver is also conducting a phone conversation while trying to select another media source and merging lanes on a city street. At any moment, a bicycle or pedestrian may step into the street. A traffic light may change, or the vehicle ahead may put on the brakes, or any other number of traffic surprises may occur while a driver is momentarily distracted. Another term for this hyper-distracted state is "cognitive distraction."

Of course, we can create more and more automated safety features, such as backup cameras, blind spot indicators, adaptive cruise control or lane usage monitors. These additional devices can monitor the driving conditions and assist the driver, however, shouldn't the driver take responsibility for reducing the distractions and paying more attention to the road?

It seems drivers over the age of 40 have learned to drive in a less-distracted era. Many of these drivers choose to not get distracted while driving. Younger drivers, under the age of 25, don't have the years of driving experience and are more prone to use in-vehicle technologies. Some of these younger drivers may believe that they can safely take on additional distractions and still stay focused on the road.

So it seems that drivers need to take more personal responsibility for safer driving with fewer distractions before government legislation removes, restricts or bans these new vehicle technologies.

Vince Hennigan is a certified Sync Specialist for Ford. In-vehicle technologies are expanding every day. Sometimes you may need to do some research, so visit my blog at Questions? Contact me at

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Cognitive Distractions


Inattention Blindness


Multi Tasking


In Vehicle Technology

If you have problems in maintaining your used Sacramento Ford car model, then this is the right time to approach the Ford auto repairing mechanic to get things fixed in time. This is to ensure that

By: Nick Pruett l Automotive > Classic Cars l April 03, 2013 lViews: 599

This article is written about a company offering stunning range of mopeds and eco friendly scooters at affordable prices . Gas powered scooters are the perfect means of transport if you want to

By: Mark Claint l Automotive > Motorcycles l December 23, 2012 lViews: 591

The Mahindra bikes are the top most important and supposed developed company in India, which is productively liability their business in the Indian auto market with its dealership networks across the

By: Wilson Roy l Automotive > Motorcycles l December 03, 2012 lViews: 269

CARTATTS, a design driven, boutique studio with a passion for cars and design have launched their first release of tattoo inspired, custom-designed, high quality decals. CARTATTS is the brainchild of

By: AlanRichard l Automotive > Car Detailing Customization l December 02, 2012 lViews: 254

When it comes to going on a road trip, the drive there can sometimes end up being a bit boring. Though you might have a fantastic time once you arrive at your holiday destination, if there is a long

By: Alan Trotter l Automotive > Mobile Audio Video l November 24, 2012 lViews: 419

Hero impulse is the design of Hero group, after the Hero and Honda group sidelined. The company has introduced its extremely first bike in the market dubbed like Hero impulse. It is an outstanding

By: Wilson Roy l Automotive > Motorcycles l November 19, 2012 lViews: 394

When it comes to going on a road trip, the drive there can sometimes end up being a bit boring. Though you might have a fantastic time once you arrive at your holiday destination, if there is a long

By: Alan Trotterl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol November 24, 2012 lViews: 419

If you've read about Steve Jobs, you would surely know about typography. How he managed to make typography a part of computers we use today. It is as though, one of the finest arts of making words

By: Rachel Vicel Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 27, 2012 lViews: 173

Getting your car fitted with GPS navigation system is a sensible idea. It is indeed a need rather than a luxury. Fitting GPS navigation makes it easy for you to locate fuel refilling station, finding

By: Nate Rodnayl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 21, 2012 lViews: 184

It's fascinating to think about how far and fast car radio technology has evolved. You can't even really just call it "car radio" anymore, because it includes so much more than that.

By: Jim Sorensonl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 16, 2012 lViews: 186

While traffic fatalities have reached a record low cell phone related accidents are on the rise. As phone technology grows, automakers struggle with ways to make them safer in while in the car. Here

By: Aiden Jeffersonl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 11, 2012 lViews: 198

If you're planning on enjoying this summer's beautiful weather out on the water, make sure your boat is ready with the best marine audio electronics before the warm temperatures arrive. Take your

By: Penny Q Jonesl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 09, 2012 lViews: 211

Let's face it, most car manufacturers are quickly bringing smartphone technology to our vehicle dashboards. Some of us are not sure how to use these systems. This is a workshop focusing on some

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol February 21, 2012 lViews: 146

The integration of technology in today's vehicles is moving at an alarming pace for some drivers, and yet it may take years before it's all taken for granted. It's strange to think of it in this way,

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol February 13, 2012 lViews: 144

There can be a number of connectivity problems with an iPod touch or iPhone and a vehicle's hands-free Bluetooth system. This is a workshop to see how to solve problems playing Bluetooth music

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol February 01, 2012 lViews: 141

More than five years ago, one of the U.S. domestic automakers introduced a plan to bring Bluetooth-driven technology to the forefront of their vehicles. Since then almost all auto manufacturers are

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol January 31, 2012 lViews: 130

Beginning in January 2012, commercial drivers are prohibited from use of hand-held cellphones and new requirements are going into place concerning texting while driving - and new vehicle technology

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol January 22, 2012 lViews: 113

The iPhone 4S and Siri were introduced to the public in Oct. 2011 - Siri, the voice of the iPhone, has met "Samantha," the voice Ford Sync, and they seem to be getting along well. The new iPhone uses

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol January 10, 2012 lViews: 121

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus