Technology to Battle Distracted Driving
Written by Greg on September 22, 2014
There is no doubt about it – we are living in an age where distraction is at every corner, especially when operating a motor vehicle. From cell phones to digital billboards, for a driver on the roadway it can be especially hard to remain focused at all times. However, keeping your eyes on the road not only prevents you from potentially missing important exits or turns, but it may also prevent accidents!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving activities, such as texting or using a cell phone, has caused 3,331 deaths in 2011 alone. In addition, in 2011 an estimated 387,000 individuals were injured as a result of a distracted driver. Moreover, the CDC research shows that one in every five accidents is caused by a distracted driver.
It is also important to keep in mind that this not a problem that is locale, but a problem that is considered global! Distracted driving can cause accidents, damages, and even deaths around the world.
While remaining distraction free can be hard for the average driver, it certainly doesn’t have to be! With the increase of technology, there are ways to ensure for a more safe, distraction free driving experience.
Head/ Eye Trackers
This piece of technology has the potential to be placed into newer model cars directly by the popular car manufacturer, GM. These trackers work by implementing a built-in senor in your car, which will monitor where your eyes and head are pointed at all times. If you start to nod off, or you are looking too long at your cell phone or the car radio, a warning will go off – alerting you to the potential danger that you may find yourself in.
These sensors were designed by Seeing Machines, an Australian technology company, and were manufactured by Takata, a Japanese safety equipment company. According to CBS News, during a recent interview, Ken Kroeger, the CEO of Seeing Machines stated, “Eye and head tracking technology is the next step in automotive safety, which we expect to play a significant role in the reduction of one of the greatest causes of accidents: driver distraction.”
Although, the head and eye tracker technology is fairly new, it has already been extremely successful as it has been tested on aviation, trucking, and railway workers. In addition, the algorithms that are used are extremely effective and very reliable.
While there are additional technologies; such as phone apps that allow you to lock the phone when driving, monitors, and sensors like the one mentioned below – one should also keep in mind what is considered distracted driving.
Distracted driving is anything that:
- Takes your eyes off of the road in front of you.
- Removes both hands away from the wheel.
- Takes your mind off of driving and pulls your focus away.
While the aforementioned technologies can certainly help in ensure a distraction free driving environment, it is equally important to utilize good, old fashioned caution when you are operating a motor vehicle!