In tackling the problem of distracted driving, are cell phones the first thing that should be discussed? Distracted driving laws are being passed all over the country. Many of them target a single behavior: texting behind the wheel. Texting while driving is a known danger and may be easier to ban than other forms of distracted driving. It is not the only issue, however, that needs to be addressed if the goal is to reduce distracted driving car accidents.
A new start-up company in San Francisco has created a device to put the information from your cell phone front and center in your attention by using a heads-up display. The display might reduce the distance from where your eyes are pointed to where they should be pointed, but it does nothing to address the real culprit behind distracted driving crashes. It is not the use of your fingers to craft a text message that makes texting while driving so dangerous. It is not just that your eyes are not on the road. The problem is that you are not thinking about safe driving. You are not splitting your attention between safe driving and a cell phone. You are ignoring the act of driving to put your attention on your phone.
Hands-free technology is not the solution to distracted driving. Technology may solve the problem by removing human drivers entirely someday, but for now, the improved gadgets are just a greater form of temptation to engage in distracted driving. Anything that takes your mind off the road is dangerous. If you want to avoid an accident, you don’t need the latest gadget. You need to keep your attention on the road, where it belongs.
Source: Huffington Post, “This Device Claims To Make Texting And Driving Totally Safe,” by Avery Stone, 8 August 2014