driver distraction

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'Distracted Walking' More Dangerous Than Distracted Driving?

Researchers say 2M may have been injured in 2010

(Newser) - You've heard of distracted driving, but distracted walking may actually be more dangerous, according to a new study. Cellphone use while strolling about sent more than 1,500 people to the ER in 2010, a figure that has almost tripled since 2004. Researchers expect it to hit 3,000... More »

Next Target of Distracted Driving: Lapdogs

Rhode Island legislator cracks down on distracted driving

(Newser) - There's a new target in the war on distracted driving: lapdogs. A Rhode Island legislator is sponsoring a bill that would ban drivers from letting their canine companions perch on their laps, reports the Wall Street Journal . The bill, which could saddle violators with a $125 fine, would make... More »

Ford's Now Building Smartphones on Wheels

'In-car connectivity' is a plethora of distractions

(Newser) - Ford's got a slick new whiz-bang simulator, and Maureen Dowd kicked the tires—and almost ran smack "into a huge green truck," she writes for the New York Times. The problem is Ford's new "in-car connectivity"—a "cornucopia of diversions on your dashboard," Dowd... More »

Texting, Driving Has Killed 16K in US

And it's spiked since 2005

(Newser) - Sure, you know that distracted driving causes fender-benders, but what about 16,000 deaths? That's how many Americans died because of texting while driving from 2001 to 2007, reports Aol News, with a new study citing a significant spike in the years since 2005. "Distracted driving has reached epidemic... More »

Woman Busted for Driving With Sex Toy in Her Lap

Colondra Hamilton of Ohio was watching a sex video behind the wheel

(Newser) - An Ohio woman faces a charge of "driving with inappropriate alertness" after she was pulled over for having illegal tinted windows and police discovered her with a sex toy in her lap. Colondra Hamilton, 36, was wearing unzipped pants and watching a sex video on a computer her passenger... More »

Digital Billboards 'Weapons of Mass Distraction': Foes

Industry says they're not 'TV on a stick' but a simple 'slide show'

(Newser) - Digital highway billboards can change their display every few seconds, serving multiple advertisers and even aiding law enforcement in finding fugitives and missing children—which is terribly unsafe, critics argue. The “television on a stick” is dangerously distracting to drivers, they say. “The billboard gets your attention whether... More »

Web-Worthy Computers Coming to Your Dashboard

Some block web surfing in motion, but some don't

(Newser) - Advances in computer chip technology have finally made web-connected dashboard computers possible in cars, to the delight of automakers and the horror of safety advocates. Chips used to draw too much power to make state-of-the-art car setups viable, but that’s changed, and this year’s CES has seen a... More »

Teens Cop to Texting and Driving—But Say Dad's Worse

No age limit for bad behavior behind wheel

(Newser) - One-third of 16- and 17-year-olds say they have written text messages while behind the wheel. Despite that, young drivers are actually more responsible than many adults: 48% of respondents aged 12 to 17 say they’ve been in the car with a driver who was texting. One boy said his... More »

Sorry Shriver Goes Hands-Free

Governator's wife takes questionably 'swift action' he promised

(Newser) - TMZ got an “I’m sorry” out of Maria Shriver a day after exposing her law-breaking habit of using her cell phone while driving. Hubby Arnold Schwarzenegger—who happened to sign the particular law that bans it—promised “swift action.” What does that mean? “I will... More »

Governator: 'Swift Action' for Wife's Serial Car Phone Use

But TMZ catches Maria Shriver on cell behind wheel after Schwarzenegger promise

(Newser) - California’s ban on using cell phones (other than hands-free) while behind the wheel is loosely enforced at best, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is promising “swift action” after TMZ brought wife Maria Shriver’s serial violations to his attention today. Schwarzenegger made the promise via Twitter to TMZ boss... More »

Only Fines Will Get Drivers Off the Phone: Experts

Conference tells Transportation Department to get tough

(Newser) - If the Department of Transportation wants to curb distracted driving, it’ll have to do more than ask nicely, concluded experts at last week’s conference on the issue. Previous efforts to curb drunk driving and promote seat belt safety have proven that drivers don’t respond without the threat... More »

Federal Workers Banned From Texting While Driving

Executive order is part of larger push against distracted driving

(Newser) - Federal employees are now forbidden from sending text messages while driving on government business or operating government vehicles. The new executive order, signed by President Obama last night, also encourages executive agencies to adopt texting bans for contractors, reports ABC. "To put it plainly, distracted driving is a menace... More »

Distracted Drivers Killed 5,800 in '08

(Newser) - Accidents caused by distracted drivers killed at least 5,800 and injured another 515,000 last year, according to data pulled from police reports and presented today to Transportation Department conference on the issue. The actual figures may be significantly higher, say Transportation officials, since distraction is often hard to... More »

Truckers Fight to Keep Computers in Cabs

As ban on texting while driving gains grounds, drivers want an exception

(Newser) - With Congress considering legislation to ban text messaging while driving, the trucking industry is fighting to keep its in-cab computers. Truckers use the machines to get directions and talk to dispatchers without having to pull over, saving them precious time on long hauls. The industry says the devices are less... More »

Texting Boosts Driver Crash Risk 23 Times

Texting while driving found to be deadliest distraction

(Newser) - A first-of-its-kind study has found that sending and receiving text messages is the deadliest distraction for drivers by far, the New York Times reports. The study, which involved cameras in the cabs of long-haul trucks, found that texting raised a driver's risk of collision a whopping 23 times, putting it... More »

US Squelched Data on Car Phone Danger

(Newser) - In 2003 a federal agency compiled hundreds of pages of research on the dangers of using cell phones while driving, but suppressed the findings because of pressure from Congress. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a part of the Transportation Department, also planned a long-term study of the risks of... More »

Pols, Drivers Dial Up Cell Phone Danger

It's just as bad as drunk driving, and millions do it

(Newser) - Driving while talking on the phone—regardless of whether you're using a hands-free device—impairs your attention and reflexes as much as a blood alcohol content of .08, according to studies. With 81% of drivers admitting to gabbing in traffic, it might seem that stricter laws are inevitable, writes the... More »

NYC Ranks No. 1 in Road Rage

City's drivers are angriest in the US

(Newser) - New York drivers are the most aggressive and angry in the US, an annual road rage survey finds. Gotham cut off Miami, which had zoomed to the top of the list the past 4 years, Reuters reports. "New Yorkers were most likely to wave their fists or arms,"... More »

Driver Polishing Nails Charged in Fatal Crash

She hit a motorcyclist yielding at a signal

(Newser) - A woman who fatally rammed into a female motorcyclist yielding at a yellow light said she was painting her nails before the accident, the Chicago Tribune reports. The driver was ticketed for failing to slow down and could face more charges. Authorities say the deceased biker was wearing a helmet... More »

Sex at 80 MPH Not Cool With Norwegian Cops

(Newser) - A Norwegian man faces a stiff fine and driving ban for having sex behind the wheel, the AFP reports. Cops thought he was just speeding—about 80 mph in a 60 zone—until they pulled closer and found his view obstructed “because her back was in the way.”... More »

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