There are three trends that continue to pose a threat to drivers on the road in Canada: driving under the influence, distracted driving, and limitations with vehicle safety -- as found in a new survey by Desjardins. The same can be said in the U.S., where approximately 25% of car accidents involve distracted driving, one-third involve DUI’s, and the news often includes stories such as one in which a North Carolina driver ran his Tesla (which was on auto-pilot) into a couple of police cars while he was watching a movie. How can Canadians and Americans reduce their road safety risk, and what new technologies can support this goal?
Highlighting The Effects Of Distracted Driving
As reported by FVF Law, one way to hone the importance of avoiding distracted driving is to remind people of the legal consequences of texting, reaching for items, and focusing on other passengers instead of the road. In the U.S., the most common distracted driving laws center on the use of cell phones while driving. The law stipulates that if an accident resulting in injury of another person is caused by texting and driving, the guilty party can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and have to pay a hefty fine. Technology to stop distracted driving can also help -- for instance, cell phone blocking technology prohibits calls or texts while a vehicle is in motion. Parents of teens and young adults in particular should request that their children rely on this technology to reduce their crash risk.
Distracted Driving And DUI Prevention Tips
New drivers should also be well instructed on tips to prevent distracted driving when they are taking lessons, either at a professional school or from guardians or other family members. Cell phone use is one thing; loose items in the car are another. These themselves can become a distraction in the event of sudden braking. All pets in cars should be well secured with the use of a seat belt as well, to avoid injury to humans and the pets themselves.
New Car Safety Technology
Autonomous driving is far from a reality, but many new vehicle models contain technologies that can help reduce the chances of accidents. These include new driver monitoring systems (which use camera technology to analyze the movement of drivers’ eyes, alerting them if they are dozing off), bio metrics (which detect the driver’s pulse through the vehicle’s seat, measuring breathing and alertness); and technologies such as Sony’s Vision-S. This is an electric car whose interiors contain 33 sensors that detect people within a vehicle, ensuring that drivers are in a good state to drive.
Recent research indicates that both Canada and America have a long way to go in terms of improving driver safety. The main threats continue to be distracted driving, DUI’s, and lack of reliable vehicle safety features. The key to the first two problems is education, and to the latter, innovation. The cars of the future will be protecting drivers to a far greater extent than they are today, but until the time that all vehicles have these features, personal responsibility continues to be the main tool drivers and passengers have against accidents and injuries.