Tag Archives: distracted driving

App of the Week – Romex

RomexYou hear it and you see it everywhere you look; texting and driving. Yet some people simply don’t get the message that distracted driving is extremely dangerous. It could cost  you or someone else their life. It has already and it will again. That is why Romex MyFix is the app of the week.

The Romex app uses a smartphone’s GPS system to detect the speed the device is moving. If that speed is faster than four miles per hour, it locks the device. Simple yet ingenious.

According to the Center for Disease Control in the U.S. at least 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured everyday in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. The CDC’s definition of distracted driving is  “… driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.”  StopTextsStopWrecks.org reports that 44 States, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.

If Romex detects your phone moving faster than you can walk or run the app disables the screen. This makes it impossible for you to respond to calls, texts, emails, social media, and all the other crap you do on your phone that could get you killed. If you’re a passenger using the Romex app you can set the app to a different mode so that you’re not subjected to a trip without your phone.  But we know that there is a stubborn and stupid driver that will disable the app.

Right now Romex is offering its app to corporations wishing to ensure that their drivers aren’t using their phones while driving the company car. But it expects to release a general version to the public soon.

The Romex app will cost money to download, but could save drivers money on insurance premiums. Romex is currently looking for an insurance partner. According to sales director Steve Arscott, “One good incentive for a young driver to have it on their phone is they would get a rebate on their insurance policy.”

 

Cellphone Distraction While Driving on the Rise

texting_ban_signDriving is a complex task that requires your undivided attention. You might be focused on the task but what about other drivers? Accidents related to distracted driving are on the rise and the almighty cell phone is a major cause.

According to the National Safety Council cellphone-related auto accidents in the U.S. rose for the third straight year. Cellphone distractions account for more than one in four  of those accidents. Its frightening to think that according to statistics those numbers may be under-reported.

The Center for Disease Control reported the following impact of distracted driving;

  • In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver compared to 3,360 in 2011. An additional, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012, a 9 percent increase from the 387,000 people injured in 2011.
  • In 2011, nearly one in five crashes (17 percent) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.

The NSC estimates texting-related crashes rose from 5 percent to 6 percent while those involving talking on phones stayed at 21 percent for a total of 27 percent of the 5.7 million crashes in 2013.

NSC CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement that, “While the public understands the risks associated with distracted driving, the data shows the behavior continues. We need better education, laws and enforcement to make our roads safer for everyone.” 

 Texting seems to have become a part of daily life. New research by psychologists from Penn State Harrisburg found that college students agree that it’s socially unacceptable to text while showering, on the toilet, eating, attending a funeral or while having sex, but do it anyway. 

The results of the 70 question survey was published as “2 TXT or not 2 TXT: College students’ reports of when text messaging is social breach,” in the Social Science Journal. 

Distracted driving, and operating other vehicles, has been listed as one of the top ten challenges by the National Transportation Safety Board. According to the NTSB, since 2003 distractions from portable electronic devices (PEDs) has been a cause or contributing factor in 11 accident investigations. Those crashes resulted in 259 people injured and 50 people killed. And the NTSB noted it does not investigate the majority of highway crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports hundreds of such deaths on our highways in 2012 alone. According to NHTSA, drivers engaging in visual-manual tasks, such as dialing or texting, triple their risk of a crash.

In a 2010 study conducted by Melvin Davis, Ph.D of the Mississippi Urban Research Center black and minority students are more likely to engage in cellphone activities while behind the whee of a car. The study revealed that;

  • Black upperclassmen were more likely to talk on a cell phone.
  • Freshmen were more likely to text while driving.
  • Incoming calls were a significant predictor of crashes.
  • Black students were twice as likely to have a crash when receiving incoming calls on their cell phone

Another study conducted by NHTSA revealed that while the rate of distracted driving is roughly equal among all ethnicities African-Americans were the highest with 43 percent of drivers prone to distraction.

Many states are reacting to the rise in cell phone distraction behind the wheel. These include bans on cellphone use behind the wheel. These include;

  • Hand-held Cell Phone Use Ban: 14 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
  • All Cell Phone ban: No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 37 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit any cell phone use for school bus drivers.
  • Text Messaging ban: 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
    • 3 states prohibit text messaging by novice or teen drivers.
    • 3 states restrict school bus drivers from texting.

While the cellphone is not only distraction while driving it is number one according to a combined study conducted by the  NHTSA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The study ranks driver distractions in the following order’

Top 10 Driver Distractions (source: NHTSA-VTTI Study):
1. Using a wireless device, such as a cell phone
2. Talking to and interacting with passengers
3. Reaching for CDs, food, falling objects or other internal distractions
4. Programming radio stations or tinkering with dashboard controls
5. Using an electric razor, applying makeup or other personal hygiene-related actions
6. Unwrapping a burger, opening a canned drink or other movements when eating at the wheel
7. External distractions such as pointing out a funny billboard or pedestrian
8. Talking or singing to oneself
9. Smoking
10. Daydreaming

Being able to multi-task is great skill at work and home but driving a car carries the responsibility being in a constant life or death situation. PUT DOWN THE PHONE! DRIVE THE CAR!

Now you know.