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Device and Conquer
Distracted drivingWhat is distracted driving? Is it against the law? And how do you survive it? Brian Cooley gives you a tour of this modern phenomenon.
I'll tell you to be honest, driver distractions has been around as long as driving. Some forms of it, you get at the drive through window, other forms (??), but the kind everyone is talking about today come from silicone. I'm talking in car technology. Let's (??) are and how to survive them. Distraction comes in 3 major forms really hand , eye, and mind. That's about the order we've recognized them and about the order of their difficulty to solve. Now of course, going back to the days when cellphones first proliferated , everybody was carrying them in the car , you're freaking people out 'cause you were doing this. You have one hand off the wheel. So, of course the answer became a rush of hands free laws. You can go hands free several ways, Bluetooth headsets are common and convenient, built in , in car Bluetooth hands free, that's almost universal in new cars today or you can add it on or call me an underachiever, my favorite is still the wired ear bud. Sounds the best, cost the least and nothing to charge, but you know what, after the move to hands free, in some places, accident rates actually went up. So, we learned that maybe hands free wasn't the issue. We've been doing that practically since we started driving and then the attention moved on. So now eyes on the road became the new rallying cry as hands on the wheels kinda proved to be a red-herring. Let's face it, you can have both hands firmly on the wheel and still plow right in the back of someone because you're not looking that way. This is where voice command technology gets a lot of love. Philip Bone navigation office. Car makers began to offer it and then to make it good which unfortunately happened in that order. In car voice recognition doesn't usually command all the parts of your car and it seldom works as well as what's on your $200 smart phone. 235 2nd Street , San Francisco , California. Solutions, buy a new car, look for one that offers full command over nav, media , calling, even climate control. Seek out a car with app support. Usually only in the newest cars, but it allows apps to be on the dash in a car friendly way that reduces distraction, if its done well or just clip your phone to the dash. Use its voice command and its car mode screen. So, finally after worrying about hands and eyes and all kinds of peripheral stuff, we finally got around what its really all about, mind on the task. That's the elephant on the room and also the hardest one to deal with. New federal guidelines have tried to measure and shape it with tortured metrics like no more than 6 key presses for task or 30 characters in a single read out. Yeah, you can punch all kinds of holes and guidelines like that, but to my mind they are really about putting car makers on notice that they are responsible for this new temptations they are putting in dash, Facebook, Twitter, movie listings, Google search. Though yes often these are locked out when the car is moving, but some manufacturers don't do that. Solutions, really just one here. Octonomus cars, yep cars that drive themselves, they aren't that many years away. Some cars are 80% of the way they are now. Like some of the Volvo's. It have just about complete driver intervention. Google has a small well known fleet of self driving cars that only had accidents when humans took over and in Nevada, they just pass laws to make self driving cars legal there. Okay, the easiest solutions to all of this, you know what I'm gonna say, just put down the phone most of the time , turn off the camera and just drive for a while. It's actually kind of a refuge.