In each issue of Focus on the Drive, National Safety Council Senior Transportation Program Manager Deborah Trombley tackles tough distracted driving questions:
"I attended the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show to see what's coming our way with mobile phones, car dashboards and potential distractions. New technologies are in every car sold today, and more are coming down the pipeline. While the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and University of Utah find voice features in dashboards can be distracting, these features were marketed as safe at CES. How do you make sense of this?"
Deborah points out that most of us have access to health information and, deep down, know that to be fact. We can make an informed choice whether to use or not use the unhealthy drinks and foods.
Unfortunately with hands-free and voice control features, most people are unaware of the distractions. According to an NSC poll, 80% of Americans still believe that hands-free devices are safer than handheld, and 53% believe that voice control features are safe because they're provided in vehicles. How can people make an educated choice when they don't know crucial safety information?
If drivers make wrong choices with cell phones and voice control features, they can seriously injure or kill themselves or someone else. So we owe it to people to share the safety information about these features.
You can find NSC resources at distracteddriving.nsc.org. In April, our Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign will educate people through materials at nsc.org/ddmonth.