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Distracted Driving, Part 5: Can Technology Solve the Problem?

iStock_6037950_LARGE-1024x768.jpgWe know that distracted driving is a huge problem, but besides making a personal commitment to never use a phone while driving, is there anything we can do about it? This question has led to some interesting technological developments that could help solve this societal ailment. As a matter of fact, some of these technologies utilize one of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents - smartphones.

New Technologies That Can Reduce Distracted Driving Due to Smartphones

  • Some vehicles now allow syncing with smartphones and will automatically reply to text messages, letting others know when a person is driving and unable to reply
  • For those whose cars don't sync to their phones, every major cellphone provider in the United States offers a service or app that disables phone use when the user is traveling faster than 15mph.
  • Many vehicles nowadays are equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and voice controls, allowing drivers who need to use their phones to do so in a completely hands-free manner.
  • The holy grail - self-driving cars. Given that most accidents are the result of driver error, self-driving cars are often touted as one of the best ways to prevent accidents. If the car is in complete control, drivers using their cell phones won't be nearly as dangerous. Of course, if a driver is distracted and needs to take over control from the car, there could still be dangers, so smartphones might still be an issue, albeit a less common one.

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