Month: April 2013

Two-Seconds: At Highway Speeds That Can be a Long Time

Driving through the beautiful Georgia countryside can be distracting. The U.S. Department of Transportation cannot control what you are staring at outside your windows. But they do have some influence over what goes into your vehicle. This week they have announced that they want auto manufacturers to consider the time it takes to use devices within the car, and limit that time to no more than two seconds at a glance. The new guidelines would help keep drivers' eyes on the road and not fiddling with buttons and looking at screens. The recommendation comes as distracted driving is being seen as an even greater problem. Cars are coming equipped with more electronic devices, from GPSs and cameras to assist lane changes and backing up, to DVD players and internet-enabled devices that even allow web browsing. With more than 3,000 people dying in car accidents in 2011 related to distracted driving, and…

Got a New Driver? Yeah, There’s an App for That

Few events are more exciting to a teen than the first time they get behind the wheel of a car alone. Sadly, it may be more exciting for some than they are equipped to handle. One of the most dangerous times for a new driver is during their first time driving alone. While they may have the basics of driving down, it is a very different thing to control a car on a rain-slicked road when another driver unexpectedly changes lanes directly in front of them. Figuring out how to keep teen drivers out of car accidents is a challenge for any parent. You want them to drive and gain experience, but you worry that they will become distracted by modern conveniences, especially cellphones. Now there is an app that may help, rather than hinder your teen driver. The University of North Carolina has been working on these issues for many years…

Study Finds Being Lost in Thought is a Major Cause of Distraction in Accidents

Cell phones and other electronic devices produce a great deal of distraction while driving. You can call someone, text them, check a stock quote or the score of a game. You use them like a GPS, Google some questions, shop online, or even watch a movie. None of these is a good idea while driving. You are driving a projectile weighing thousands of pounds, hurtling down a highway at up to a hundred feet per second. That few seconds you glance down to check a text may be the last thing you ever do. But there is something even more distracting than that cell phone. According to a study that looked at the 65,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents from the last two years, 62 percent of the distracted drivers were "lost in thought" when the accident occurred. Cell phones only were responsible for 12 percent of the distraction. Of course, this…

Fog and Mountain Roads: A Deadly Combination

One minute, you are driving along with normal or near-normal visibility, and you can see a few hundred yards in front of your vehicle. Then, suddenly with little or no warning, you can barely see two car lengths in front of your vehicle. If you see taillights, it's probably too late to attempt to stop. This type of nightmare driving condition is common throughout the East Coast and the Appalachians in Georgia, and Easter Sunday, it occurred on the border of North Carolina and Virginia, as the fog closed around dozens of motorists, causing fatal, chain-reaction accidents. Three people were killed and 25 were injured in car and truck accidents involving 95 vehicles. Fog and highway driving makes for a particularly deadly mix, because even if you slow enough to avoid hitting another vehicle, and manage to stop, you have no assurance that any vehicles following yours are going to…

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