Harmful to Your Health: Distracted Driving

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National Distracted Driving Awareness Month—which occurs every April—brings awareness to the risks of distracted driving.Every year, more than 33,000 Americans die in car accidents. And one of the main reasons is because of distracted driving. Reducing this number—and saving lives—can be done through proper education and awareness. That’s what organizations like FocusDriven believe. This non-profit organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the danger of cell-phone distracted driving. In addition to education, it supports families who have suffered at the hands of distracted drivers.

“We are the constant reminder to the world that no call or text message is worth someone’s life,” is FocusDriven’s mantra. And that’s why during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month—which occurs every April—the organization is launching campaigns to fight distracted driving, and hopefully save someone’s life.

If you talk on a cellphone and drive at the same time, you have more than four times as likely a chance of getting in a car accident. Yet 70% of drivers admit to talking and driving, and two-thirds of them say they know it’s wrong! Even people who are good at multi-tasking can’t be trusted to talk and drive. According to FocusDriven’s data, your brain suffers from “inattention blindness,” meaning it loses its ability to focus on the road, and all the visual stimuli in front of it, necessary for you to drive safely, while you’re talking on the phone. They say the brain loses as much as a 37% capacity to gather the information it needs when you’re distracted.

MORE: Does a long commute affect your health?

That’s why technology companies are working on developing new safety features that can curb this issue, such as Mobileye, a leader in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Its new technology, unveiled to President Obama during his recent visit to Israel, is designed to enhance car safety features by adding animal detection, object detection, 3D world representation motion detection, and traffic light recognition. Mobileye’s monocular vision-based platform is designed to work as a “third eye,” making you aware and prepared while driving and enhancing your safety. The company knows these features can dramatically reduce the number of fatalities due to car accidents—which amounts to more than 1.2 million deaths, every year, worldwide.

“We are honored to be presenting Mobileye’s life saving technology to President Obama,” said Professor Amnon Shashua, Chairman of Mobileye’s Board. “This is a unique opportunity to display the range of safety applications offered by our monocular vision system, powered by Mobileye’s System-on-Chip (EyeQ).”

However, it will take more than just technology to reduce the number of car crash fatalities. It must begin with education—such as learning about National Distracted Driving Awareness Month—and ending your bad habit of picking up the phone when you’re driving. That call is never worth risking your life or someone else’s.

Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“Dangers of conversation,” FocusDriven web site; http://focusdriven.org/dangers-of-conversation, last accessed April 10, 2013.
“Mobileye presented its life-saving implementation, one of the Most Recent Promising Israeli Technologies,” Canadian Friends of Hebrew University e-newsletter, March 21, 2013.