The trend is especially prevalent among young drivers. According to Detroit News, a new survey by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that about 58% of high school seniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month. Thirty-nine states ban texting behind the wheel for all age groups, and an additional five states outlaw it for novice teen drivers.
Smartphone and software developers have tried to find solutions to combat the problem. Some apps will silence a phone when they detect that the device is moving at car speed. However, the apps can’t tell drivers from passengers- and assume any device that is traveling at car speed belongs to the driver, even though the person could be on a bus or train. Thus, there are override buttons that are easy to use by the driver.
One startup company adopted an incentive program to encourage safe driving. It records users’ behavior and pays them when they leave the phone along until the end of a trip. However, SafeCellApp became a victim of their own success- they dropped the payout from $250 per year to at most $20 per year.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommends a finite, human solution; don’t use your cell phone while driving. Other states such as Delaware and California are trying pilot projects that combine police force with public awareness campaigns warning against distracted driving.
Ann Arbor, Michigan will see its own test. The government is launching a yearlong trial this summer with 3,000 specially equipped cars, trucks and buses that can sense each other wirelessly and warn drivers about impending collisions, even before you see the other vehicle.
How do you think Michigan can combat the problem of distracted driving? Do apps simply add to the confusion? Would an incentive program work or should the government step in? We’d love to hear from you!
Nobody covers Michigan auto insurance like we do at Capital Insurance. We specialize in helping our clients cover themselves, their families and their homes against unforeseen damages and injuries. As independent agents, we seek out the best plans from dozens of insurers licensed to operate here in Southeast Michigan and set you up with the most affordable rates and coverages. Contact us today for more information.