DRIVER DISTRACTIONS: THE FIRE BEHIND THE SMOKE

The new technologies that drivers drool over could be a colossal problem for law enforcement and traffic safety policymakers, and a major challenge for educators. However, the evidence is not all in on either the extent of the problem or its exact nature. Driver inattention is a recognized and significant factor in highway crashes and is often mentioned by police, although drivers tend to be cited for behaviors such as running off the road, failure to yield, and excessive speed for conditions. Pinning down the cause of driver inattention is not going to be easy. Technologies such as fax machines and navigational aids are not yet widely used, and there is no data on them. If their use is not against the law, police officers will not have a reason to question drivers about their use, and in the absence of witness statements or other physical evidence, their relationship to a crash will be virtually impossible to pin down. While manufacturers ponder design and marketing solutions, educators need to take a serious look at what objectives training and education can realistically achieve and whether the tools exist to achieve them. This publication argues that making drivers more aware of the dangers of distraction will help, but we can also raise driving standards in such a way that drivers are more engaged with their roadway and traffic environment and therefore more sensitive to the extent to which distractions degrade this relationship.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    PDE Publications

    310-5334 Yonge Street
    Toronto, Ontario M2N 6M2,   Canada 
  • Publication Date: 2000

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 1-2
  • Serial:
    • Driver/Education
    • Volume: 10
    • Issue Number: 2
    • Publisher: PDE Publications
    • ISSN: 1183-7314

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00800625
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 16 2000 12:00AM