One of the main causes of vehicular accidents is distracted driving. The most common cause of this behavior is the use of mobile phones while driving. While the law already penalises such acts, it begs to ask the question: is there a way that drivers can avoid distracted driving? Are there technological systems in place that could curb this kind of behavior?
This is something that companies have been toying with for the past couple of years, and there are some ways to avoid cellphone usage when you’re on the wheel.
The most common method of stopping distracted driving is blocking mobile devices whenever you’re in the vehicle. Last year, Apple introduced the technology that would lock out iPhones whenever the user is driving. It does this with the help of onboard sensors, and requires no input from the vehicle. Instead of input from the car, the iPhone’s lock-out mechanism relies on data from a motion analyser and a scenery analyser to trigger it. As of last year, this kind of technology has already been patented by Apple, although it’s still unknown if and when they will integrate it to their products.
Other ways that lock-out mechanisms could work is through the use of a Bluetooth dongle, just like the one being offered by Kyrus Mobile. An app on the mobile device is paired with the dongle which is attached to a port in the car. When the car starts moving, the app disables most of the phone’s functionality. However, there is a safe mode that allows the user to call the emergency services.
There are other examples of this mechanism, including Origosafe. A device attached to the car, Origosafe requires that the phone be docked before the engine starts working. Ford Motor Co. also has the MyKey technology which functions similarly to the Kyrus Mobile App.
Another method to prevent distraction is to simply download an app to your smartphone. Live2Txt is an Android™ app that allows you to block incoming texts and calls whilst driving. All you have to do is switch the app on when you get behind the wheel and it will silence your phone.
Canary is another great app that is really useful for the anxious parents among us. This is an app you download onto your child’s phone and can set maximum speed limits, you can even set an area limit and a curfew. As soon as your child is in violation of any of these things you’ll get feedback sent to your phone.
However, these lock-out mechanisms have their fair share of detractors. Some people think that relying on technology ignores the bigger problem, namely that users will always find a way to circumvent the technology.
But while human behavior is the cause of these problems, it can also be the solution. As long as drivers learn how to practice self-control and avoid using mobile devices while driving, then they’re bound to be safer.
Those lessons are learnt while preparing for your theory test and it’s a matter of following them once you get out onto the road. Older drivers who passed before getting their theory could do well to remind themselves of the rules of the road every now and again too – it’s free to do and extremely useful.
Ultimately, getting the mindset of the driver right is the best solution to avoid distracted driving.
As long as drivers follow these rules, they’re bound to avoid the accidents to result from distracted driving.
Keep the wise words of your driving instructor in your head as you drive and focus solely on the road.
If you need or want a gadget or app to help wean you off using your phone then that may be the way forward – but that should only supplement a mindset that puts road safety above all else.