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Distracted Driving

Automated Safety Systems Prevent Car Crashes

By Ross Jurewitz on October 6, 2017

Some recent studies suggest that the auto industry is making progress in the development of the self-driving car.

The studies centered on two automated safety features available on some newer cars: Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

Hands-Free Devices Are Distrac—Wait, What Was That?

By Ross Jurewitz on August 8, 2017

You and your spouse have loaded up the kiddos. You’ve brought plenty of snacks and drinks and blankets and pillows, along with games or books or anything that will help pass the time. You’ve done your vehicle maintenance—yep, everything looks good there. You’ve got a heck of a long journey ahead of you, so it’s time to strap in and hit that long road.

Once you and the family are settled in, maybe an hour or so down the road, the hypnotic effects of driving take over, and even the minor distractions of children singing and playing and whining seem no challenge to your steely reserve. After all, you’re focused on far more important things. Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

The Steep Price of Distracted Driving

By Ross Jurewitz on June 30, 2017

Tammy Watts, a 34-year-old woman from San Diego, was being released from prison after 180 days. She entered the press room. She carefully walked to the table, head down, and took her seat. Silence filled the room as she pulled out a small piece of yellow legal-pad notebook paper. Her hands trembled as she unfolded the paper, its crackling through the microphone as loud as a jet engine. After a moment, she leaned into the microphone and began to speak.

“No words will ever adequately express the guilt, shame, and heartbreak that I have felt since that fateful day last fall, and every day since then, and every single day from here on out, for the rest of my life.” Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

Multitasking Means Multifailing

By Ross Jurewitz on June 28, 2017

“I’m the best driver I know,” says John, a man from Encinitas. “In fact, if there was test I could take, or some kind of competition I could enter, like a contest for driving—and I don’t mean like auto racing or cop kind of driving. I mean, just regular, ho-hum kind of driving that we all do, like going to work and picking up the kids and going to the grocery store. Freeways, neighborhoods, all that kind of driving. I think—heck, I know I would win that competition hands down.” Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

Put the Phone Down

By Ross Jurewitz on December 15, 2016

distracted-drivingJeremy, a 34-year-old man, worked in downtown San Diego and usually took his lunch break in the warm, comfortable afternoons. He would walk over to his favorite sushi place or go over to the deli where Bill made his favorite turkey and avocado sandwich. Since downtown is a bustling area with lots of cars, buses, and pedestrians, Jeremy was aware of the dangers of jaywalking and followed the traffic lights accordingly.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

Common Causes of San Diego Distracted Driving Accidents

By Ross Jurewitz on February 12, 2016

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of San Diego car accidents. And the problem is not going away any time soon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,154 people were killed in auto accidents involving distracted drivers in the year 2013. About 400,000 people were injured in distraction-related crashes. Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

New Law Requires California Drivers to Give Up Their Ear Buds

By Ross Jurewitz on January 29, 2016

Ear BudsFor years, Californians have enjoyed the privilege of wearing ear buds while they drive around town or biking along city streets. Whether you were talking to a co-worker or listening to the new Rihanna, you could hear everything loud and clear without any distractions. Lawmakers in Sacramento, however, saw it differently. They, along with some concerned specialists and citizens determined the ear buds posed a real threat driver safety. So starting January 1st, drivers and cyclists living in the state of California are no longer be permitted to wear buds in both ears while operating their vehicle of choice. Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

Does Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving Really Decrease Accident Rates?

By Ross Jurewitz on August 4, 2014

Six years ago, the state of California banned the use of cellphones while driving (except for hands-free technology). Those under 18-years-old are banned from even using hands-free technology and everybody in the state is banned from texting while driving.

Ostensibly, the laws were enacted to reduce accidents caused by those using mobile devices while driving. But, has that proven to be the case?

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Transportation Research, the answer is: No.

The study looked at the accident rates in California six months prior to the cellphone ban and six months after.

“Our main result was that we found no evidence that the California cellphone ban decreased accidents,” one of the lead authors of the study said. “This is surprising because a lot of prior studies had shown that people who talk on cellphones, while driving, are just as impaired as people who are intoxicated.” Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

Encinitas Parents Seek Justice for Son Killed by Distracted Driver

By Ross Jurewitz on March 4, 2014

The parents of a toddler who was killed by a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign recently confronted the driver at his sentencing hearing in a San Diego courtroom.

“This man basically killed me. He took my son’s life,” the father said through a translator. “All I ask is that justice be done,” NBC News San Diego reported.

The tragic accident occurred in Encinitas on Nov 1, 2013. The three-year-old boy was walking with his mother when a vehicle struck him. Prosecutors contended that the driver had been rushing to work and had failed to stop at a stop sign on the 400-block of Encinitas Boulevard.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

Google Glass Behind the Wheel: Weighing the Risks and Benefits

By Ross Jurewitz on January 22, 2014

Google Glass allows users to capture video, run searches, and perform other tasks without taking their hands off the wheel – but is it safe to use while driving? State, local, and even national governments are currently weighing the question and coming to very different answers.

In the United Kingdom, the Department of Transport initially considered making the use of Google Glass while driving illegal. Now, however, the agency is working with Google to consider the implications of current traffic laws on the use of Google Glass, as well as ways to make Glass use behind the wheel less risky for drivers. Read the rest »

Posted in: Distracted Driving

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