Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stop texting and driving, before they make you

Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Who is "they"? Good question. Maybe your insurance company. Maybe the manufacturer of your next car. Maybe the state. Whoever "they" become, software engineers are working to end texting and driving for good.

Of course, before "they" can enforce any laws, "we" must first determine how dangerous texting and driving is and which demographic groups shouldn't text while behind the wheel.

What do you think about this? Is texting and driving something you can do without cause for concern or are you so addicted to your smart phone and messaging services that you can't take a half-hour break to drive home?

Several software and gadget companies — many of them at the country's biggest trade show for the wireless industry last week in Las Vegas — have sprung up to address that challenge. But creating an effective, widespread solution looks a lot harder than putting in reminders for seat belts.

Furthermore, we're only just beginning to figure out what constitutes a dangerous distraction, and how best to curb it. Are hands-free conversations dangerous? What about dictating text messages to your phone? Does everyone need help staying away from the phone while driving, or just teens and employees?

Many states ban drivers from using cell phones without hands-free devices, but a recent insurance industry study found that such laws haven't reduced crashes. It's not clear why, but one reason might be that drivers flout the laws.

Read the rest of this Associated Press/ MSNBC article, by Peter Svensson, here.

What do you think about ads like this, from the U.K.? Are they effective? Do they encourage you to put your damn phone down and drive, or not?

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