NTSB Wants New Safety Systems in All Vehicles to Reduce Distracted Driving Deaths
November 15, 2012 8:49 AM
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Stupid is as stupid does...
A large number of deaths are attributed each year to
in the United States. Many drivers are too busy texting, making phone calls, or reading (among other things) while driving their cars. If you listen to some people in Washington, the answer to fixing such driving stupidity are even more safety mandates.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants collision-avoidance technology such as forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control, and automatic braking on every car sold in the U.S. These technologies are already available as options on many luxury cars currently on the market.
The problem on the consumer end of things is that these safety features are included in options packages that add $1,000 or more to the price of the vehicle. Automotive manufacturers oppose the NTSB because the added costs would spread to even the most basic automobiles on the market instead of being relegated to more expensive vehicles where buyers are more willing to fork over the money.
However, the NTSB believes that this sort of technology can help drivers improve reaction times and avoid crashes.
According to the NHTSA, systems such as the ones it's recommending would make a significant impact on reducing the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. Accidents caused by distracted drivers account for 60% of highway fatalities.
"We have a chance to take a big bite into that figure," NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said.
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11/19/2012 1:19:44 PM
Distracted driving usually means having one hand off the wheel fiddling with some piece of electronics (yes I know there's lots of other non electronic things to fiddle with). So why not have a system that will cut the ignition if you take a hand off the wheel for more than 5-10 seconds. No more handheld phone calls, no lunatic touch screen controls and I suppose no trying to undo your passenger's clothing either ;-). Instead it will encourage the development of useable voice activated systems and controls that work quickly by feel. Drivers with only one hand will need a different solution but I would imagine not many of them drive and hold a phone at the same time
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