Distracted driving is fast becoming an epidemic. With every driver having a cell phone (that probably does a lot more than text or make calls) and every car coming equipped with on-board GPS and entertainment systems, the ways a driver can be distracted is on the rise. So now the question arises: who should be responsible for the fight against distracted driving? Should cell phone companies install apps that prevent texting or is it the responsibility of auto companies to make sure the in-car technology is keeping everyone on the road safe? The consensus was that everyone needs to chip in at a distracted driving hearing hosted by the National Transportation Safety Board. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 5400 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2009, so it’s obvious that some action needs to be taken.
Obviously both car companies and cell phone manufacturers have other motives. In their effort to constantly provide more, better, faster to their customers, often safety can get pushed to the back burner. How do you give your customers the freedom of choice with a powerful product while still protecting those innocent people who may be hurt by misuse of that product? What it comes down to is whether these two industries can work together to form a solution that will please users and keep them safe. Obviously safety features are a huge selling point for many automobiles already, so it is merely about extending that to the problem of distracted driving.
This, along with many states passing specific laws to prevent distracted driving, are great ways to prevent terrible accidents, but the true responsibility for distracted driving begins and ends with each driver on the road. Every time your eyes dart away from what’s ahead of you, it puts yourself, your passengers and everyone you are sharing the road with at great risk. By taking ownership of your own actions and absolutely refusing to be part of the problem you could be saving lives. Too many families have been torn apart by this completely senseless and preventable act. That is why the decision you make behind the wheel is so much more important and impactful than anything TADD or even a government agency like the NHTSA could do: every time you choose to drive attentively, you are saving lives.