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Ready to Change Your Driving Habits_Tips _ Tech to Keep Distraction-Free on the Road

It’s no secret that distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions. How often do you witness Dayton drivers using their phones while cruising at highway speeds? (You may even be one of those drivers!) The National Safety Council has compiled data related to vehicle crashes and fatalities, and it is sobering. For the first time in nearly a decade, preliminary estimates show that 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016, up 6% from 2015 and 14% from 2014. That’s the equivalent of wiping out the entire population of Richmond, IN.

With April being Distracted Driving Month, we thought it best to raise awareness of the problem by providing some practical and safe driving tips. Follow these “4A” rules to keep from jumping into a book of statistics.

Abstain

An obvious step in staying safe from the dangers of distracted driving is to simply “say NO.” Be the one who puts their phone in the console when driving—or just turn the phone off entirely. If you drive with children in your vehicle, this will set an example — you may save a life without realizing it – as your child could follow your lead when they get into the teens.

Avoid

If you see vehicles acting erratically — swerving and unable to stay in their lane, going much slower than surrounding traffic or making sudden corrections in braking or steering — you might be witnessing a distracted driver. Give any driver exhibiting these actions their space by either dropping back and away or safely going around and far ahead of them.

If you ever feel like they’re endangering others on the road, memorize their license plate, make and model, and the location, then pull over and contact the authorities.

Act

There has been slow yet steady recognition of this crisis by lawmakers and mobile technology developers. Laws have been enacted either prohibiting or limiting mobile device use while driving. While the majority of these state laws are “secondary,” meaning you can’t be stopped or ticketed solely for violating them, it is still a positive step.

Mobile technology has introduced the “driving mode.” For example, in Apple’s iOS 11, the driving mode can be enabled to sense movement and disable any interruptions for the driver while the vehicle is in motion. Again, it’s is a positive step forward, although this feature can be easily disabled by the user. But you’re smarter than that, right? If your phone has the technology to disable itself when you are driving, use it.

There are even apps available that will monitor phone usage, letting you know if they are being used by your teenage driver while driving. Remember, you aren’t spying; you’re just trying to keep your loved ones safe. Promote the fact that you are taking positive steps towards eliminating the dangers of distracted driving, let people know, either through conversation or social media, that you care about them by sharing this information.

Honda technology_distracted driving
Photo: caranddriver.com

Adapt

Some impressive developments are in the works by automakers that promise to help with distracted driving. Honda, for instance, is developing technology that will actively monitor the driver’s biomechanical information and live driving conditions.

This tech starts by determining when the driver’s workload is piling up. How? One way is to measure the driver’s heart rate and respiration using sensors on the steering wheel and seat belt. Although accurately measuring these parameters is difficult, Steven Feit, chief engineer for infotainment research at Honda R&D Americas, says, “We can capitalize on the knowledge that the amount and speed of respiration is different for cognitive load and anxiety.” 

You don’t have to wait for the development of new technology to be safer – there are many Honda safety features already available that help you control and monitor the entire driving environment. If you need a safe new car for your family around Dayton, head into one of our Miami Valley Honda Dealers. With various dealerships near Springfield, Tipp City, and Miamisburg, we can easily help you choose the safest new van or SUV, like the Honda Odyssey or CR-V.

Stay safe out there!

 

Sources & Photos: 

http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving-awareness-month.aspx

http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/Fatality-Estimates.aspx

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208090

https://blog.caranddriver.com/do-not-disturb-how-your-next-car-will-prevent-distracted-driving/