Distracted driving has grown to be a huge deal with the excessive use of phones while driving. Drivers are not only talking on their phones now while driving but texting, browsing the web and playing with numerous applications. You see it every day driving around Louisville. I see it every day when meeting with clients who have been injured in a car accident by a distracted driver.
Research has been being conducted for some time learning the effects distracted driving has on drivers. Recently Honda and The Ohio State University have joined together to open a $1.3 million Driving Simulation Laboratory. Anyone that knows me knows that my Dad went to The Ohio State University and I love Buckeye football. Go Bucks! I am glad that they are partnering with Honda on a study that should help decrease the number of distracted driving accidents.
The new laboratory is geared directly at distracted driving issues. Not only will it see the effects distracted driving has on people partaking in it, it will also monitor heart rate, blood pressure, eye movement, and stress levels so they can grasp the psychological and physiological condition of the diver in numerous conditions. The lab is going to enable researchers to study how certain age groups differentiate in their driving habits. Frank Paluch, senior vice president of Honda R&D America in Raymond, Ohio stated, “It presents both the university and Honda with a chance to conduct leading-edge research into the psychological components of the driving experience and its impact on issues such as driver distraction and overall vehicle safety.”
In 2010, 3092 people were killed in accidents involving a distracted driver, and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. Drivers who use hand held devices while they are driving are four times more likely to get in an accident. Sending or receiving a text message takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This is equivalent to driving the length of a football field at 55 mph blind.
Drivers will be able to see firsthand these affects and the devastating results of texting while driving. The more teens that are able to experience this type of simulation the fewer car accidents we will have. AT&T, as well as other safety advocacy organizations, has offered a road tour to U.S. high schools of the texting-while-driving simulator offered by The Peers Foundation. The Driving Simulator is a computerized car that permits users to virtually text and drive (I guess the only instance in which such a behavior can be conducted safely). Ohio State and Honda has taken this to the next level. Maybe a road tour will be in there future. If there is I hope Louisville will be a stop.