Distracted Driving Is a Bigger Problem Than We Thought

The numbers do not lie: 37,150 people in the US died due to distracted driving in 2017. But, sadly that is not the worst part of the news. Researchers are finding that there is no single cause to preventing distracted driving.

This means that there is no direct route to a solution resulting in more and more deaths. Right now, the only thing proven to work is to spread awareness about distracted driving.

Another thing that experts are deciding to try is how to make smartphone connectivity to cars to take less attention. Almost every new car on the market makes it easy to connect your phone to your car.

You are able to stream music, map directions, and in some cases even order food, coffee, etc. This is taking many drivers’ attention away from the road, in drivers aged 17 to 22 spend at least 12% of their time behind the wheel messing with their smart phones. Any percentage of time on your phone behind the wheel is too much time directed away from the road.

Both Apple and Android have their own extensions for cars. At one point Apple demanded more of customers’ attention than the Android version when entering directions and getting from one place to another. But, when it came to texting Android was by far more of a distraction. However, both must make a change to reduce the threat of distracted driving.

With all of the new tech in cars, come inward facing cameras. Some people are not okay with that for privacy reasons which is understandable as to a degree, it is a basic right, in most peoples’ eyes. However, these cameras may help develop self-driving cars with the data it collects. Additionally, it may be our answer to solving the distracted driving epidemic.

The data the cameras collected from crashes and everyday driving habits can be analyzed by experts to determine how to make the new technology in vehicles less cognitively demanding or even develop an algorithm to prevent inappropriate use while the vehicle is in motion.

But, how much privacy are consumers really willing to give up? How much of their data are companies entitled to? Right now, there is not much regulation, but it is probably coming soon as new cars will soon all have this technology.

There must be some type of compromise because when this data is used appropriately, breakthroughs can happen. For example, a lot of the tracking built into these cars can prevent crimes. A lot of the data provided can solve the mystery of crashes, including distracted driving crashes and provoke ideas on how to prevent them. The results can save money on auto insurance, medical bills, and most importantly lives which are priceless.

Safer Cars Does Not Mean Safer Roads

These days, it is pretty standard for cars to include top of the line safety features. These range from rear-view cameras, lane departure warnings, traction control and even blind spot detection.

Driving a safe vehicle can also mean more money in your pocket as drivers can save on car insurance cost. A car insurance company is generally able to provide more affordable car insurance if your vehicle has safety features. However, safer cars do not necessarily mean safer roads across the country.

From January to June, approximately 18,720 people have died on U.S. roads. As a result of a growing economy, people are driving more miles compared to recession level data. Less unemployment means more cars are on the road getting people to and from work and more money for leisure activities. In 2017, Americans traveled 3.22 trillion miles according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Factor in more miles driven along with speeding, drug and alcohol impaired driving and distracted driving and the fatality rate is at an all-time high.

South Carolina leads the nation in traffic fatality rates per miles traveled. In 2017, the state had 1.88 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, which is almost two times the national average. Illinois reported 1,090 traffic deaths.

This trend prompted Governor Rauner to declare August 17 as Traffic Fatality Awareness Day at the Illinois State Fair through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Health, Illinois Secretary of State and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

States across the country have launched similar awareness efforts like Vision Zero. Vision Zero’s goal is to strategically eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for everyone.

Reducing speed is perhaps the most effective way to reduce the fatalities. Speed increases the distance it takes a car to come to a complete stop. The speed of impact is also directly correlated to the risk of death. The higher the speed of impact, the higher the probability of a passenger dying becomes.

Even with lower speeds, it is hard for police officers to enforce these lower limits. Automated cameras are already unpopular and adding more would also be costly.

How To Choose The Right Auto Repair Shop

When you decide to have a car today, you are considering so much more than you used to. The economy has made us all leery of spending where we don’t have to but in many places in the world, you need a car. This is an expense in several ways and they are; the car payment, the insurance as well and if you are making a payment each month then they require full-waiver which is collision etc. On top of that, you have the car repair. This is the one to factor in today because if you make a payment and the car breaks you still need to pay that car note least you lose the car. This is a headache but if you screen auto-repair shops before you have a repair you can feel out the situation and get better service and a better price. Most people don’t think of and don’t want to think of a car repair shop until it is too late and something goes wrong with the car but some good research at different times during the year is something worth doing.

Some tips to choosing the right auto repair shop and tire dealer

The next time you go for an oil change look at the place to see if they do anything else like tires or auto repair. If they do then check out the prices while you wait for the oil to be changed and the tire rotation to be done and get to talking to the mechanics and the staff because statistically people who are well-known at an establishment are more likely to get great deals and less likely to get ripped off.

Check for whom they are accredited by as well

Credentials go a long way and you should look to see who endorses them and who recommends them. The American Automobile Associations endorses and rates auto repair shops all over the U.S. and Canada. You may even ask them if their mechanics are certified and who certify them.

Private garages versus chains and dealerships

For auto repair, you have choices as to who you go to and there are differences you should take heed of. There are many people who insist on bringing their cars into the dealership to be repaired. This is fine when a new car is still under warranty but people continue to do so after the warranty is expired. This is a fools-game of sorts because it is the most expensive option. The second choice is a chain like an auto parts dealer. They are good for the parts but as far as the services are, concerned it can be cheap or it can be expensive depending on what the service is you are having done so be aware and shop around.