Articles Posted in Distracted Driving

Over a year ago, Florida passed a law that banned texting and driving in the state. While the legislation was meant to stop distracted driving in Miami and other cities, has the law had the intended effect?

Critics claim that the law is not robust enough, since drivers have to be pulled over for another violation in order to be charged with texting and driving. This means that even if officers see motorists texting and driving, they cannot pull the drivers over unless they are doing something else wrong. Stronger bills that would ban texting and driving more firmly and would give police more powers to pull drivers over just for texting repeatedly failed to get passed into law.

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Aggressive driving is a major threat on Hollywood and Florida roads. Drivers who are upset or angry are more likely to take risks and more likely to speed because they are too angry to drive calm and safely. Angry drivers are also distracted drivers – they are so focused on whatever has made them upset that they often don’t notice pedestrians and other cars around them. These types of drivers are likely to suffer from road rage and may cause car accidents due to their reckless driving.

There many reasons why aggressive driving happens. Someone may become upset and jump into their car in order to get away from an angering situation. In some cases, people simply have anger management issues that can translate to angry driving on the roads. All of us are subject to aggressive driving if we become upset and fail to calm down before getting behind the wheel.

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If you drive in South Florida, you may already know that distracted driving is a problem on the roads. No matter where you go, you are likely to see drivers talking on their phones, fixing their hair, or simply not paying attention to the roads. Distracted driving in Hollywood and other communities causes many accidents, and there are many suggestions about how we can put a stop to it. But does this problem really have a clear-cut solution?

Distracted Driving Statistics

According to the NHTSA and other government agencies, the problem of distracted driving is not significantly improving, despite education campaigns and greater awareness. In 2011, there were 3,360 fatalities linked to distracted driving and by 2012 there were 3,328 distraction-related deaths. In the same time period, the number of people injured by a distracted driver increased from 387,000 in 2011 to 421,000 a year later.

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The last two months of the year have two major holidays. For many families, this is not only an exhilarating time of year, but also a very stressful season simply because there is so much to do. Unfortunately, stress can be a major contributor to traffic accidents in Hollywood and other communities for a number of reasons:

1) Stress can lead to fatigue.

Experts agree that fatigued driving in Hollywood and all communities can lead to collisions. In fact, research has shown that tired drivers have some of the same slowed response times as drunk drivers and make some of the same mistakes behind the wheel. In some cases, drivers get so fatigued that they fall asleep while driving, causing their car to veer off the road.

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Holiday drivers face extra hazards at this time of year. There are distracted, ill, and drunk drivers on Hollywood and Florida roads and the roads are often filled with more drivers due to holiday events and shopping. The extra traffic, extra drinking, and added stress can all add up to more dangers on the roads. However, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of being injured in a collision at this time of year:

1) Get your car into the best condition possible.

This is a good time to get a tune-up. The better your car responds, the better your chances of avoiding a collision, especially if you need to maneuver suddenly to avoid a crash. Pay attention to your tires and brakes in particular. Make sure that your car’s tires have good treads that grip the road and ensure that brakes work so that you can avoid parking lot crashes and other collisions common at this time of year.

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A number of recent studies have focused on the effects of distracted driving in Miami and other cities and many researchers have considered the impact that mobile devices and hands-free devices may have on drivers. Google Glass is a new type of technology and a new study has been published outlining the ways that the wearable technology could impact motorists.

Is Google Glass Safe for Drivers?

A recent study by the University of Central Florida and the Air Force Research Laboratory concluded that Google Glass is a distraction for drivers. However, researchers also concluded that drivers using the device can regain control of their vehicles faster after a car collision when compared with motorists using a smartphone. The study concluded that drivers should not use Google Glass or any devices while driving but noted that new technologies may eventually develop that would allow drivers to get information and to communicate with minimal or no distraction.

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Manufacturers of hands-free and voice-activated devices claim that their products allow drivers to send and check emails and texts while still keeping their eyes focused on the road and their hands on the wheel. Many drivers assume that these devices are safer and are a good way to prevent distracted driving in Homestead or their communities.

A new AAA study casts doubt on these assumptions.

According to the study, voice-activated, hands-free devices can still be very distracting for drivers – especially if the devices fail to recognize the speaker’s voice and the driver has to repeat what they are saying. The study looked at drivers using devices that relied on voice command or hands-free features to allow drivers to place calls, change the car’s entertainment system, or text messages. Drivers were placed in simulators and asked to use the hands-free devices while having to “drive” through a course.

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There many things that could influence your risk of being in a car accident in Homestead or your community. For example, newer drivers, older drivers, and drivers with serious medical conditions may have an increased chance of being in a car accident. Your ability to drive and your ability to focus on driving can have a big impact on how safe you are behind the wheel. Of course, your sobriety also has an impact. But could your job also play a role?

According to a new research report by Moneysupermarket.com, the answer may be yes. The website analyzed more than 2 million insurance claims and found that healthcare-related professions have a higher rate of car accidents than other workers. In fact, according to the analysis, general practitioners and surgeons had the highest rates of car accidents among all professions. Of the top 10 professions for insurance claims, nine were health-related. Probation officers were the only exception, coming in at number seven when it came to the number of car crash claims by occupation. In contrast, office workers have the lowest rates of car crash claims. Fair employees and car wash attendants also had low rates of car accident claims.

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Child injury in Homestead and other communities is often linked to cars. Not only are car accidents one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities for young children, but cars themselves pose a risk to children – even if the cars are not moving. Each summer, for example, there have been instances of children dying of heat stroke and hyperthermia after inadvertently being left alone in a hot car.

There are a number of safety devices that can be used to help combat the problem, according to experts:

  • Motion and heat sensors. These sensors can be installed in a car seat and sense movement or heat, alerting parents when their child is left behind in the car. There are now many brands and models of the devices.

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Recent studies have shown that one of the most dangerous obstacles to overcome when driving doesn’t have to do with other drivers, poor road design in Hollywood or your community, or the many other things that we tend to associate with road safety problems. Instead, our minds – and specifically, daydreaming – contribute to a large number of car accidents. In fact, studies suggest that daydreams contribute to more collisions than cell phones.

If you want to stay safe on the roads and avoid traffic collisions in Hollywood or your community, you will want to do a quick mental check before you hop in the car. The simple precaution could save your life. A mental check means:

1) Checking for fatigue.

If you are fatigued to the point where your mind feels almost buzzed, you are not safe to drive. Fatigue affects a lot more than just your response times. It can also affect your ability to process information correctly and to make it hard for you to focus. It can also leave you more likely to daydream. If you are tired, take another method of transportation home. Fatigued driving in Hollywood and other communities already causes far too many collisions each year.

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