Tag: distracted driving

Eyes on the Road! Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving involves any sort of activity that takes someone’s attention away from driving. This may be taking your eyes, your hands, or your mind off of the road. Some of us may find ourselves guilty of doing this, while some of us may have witnessed others involved in distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 lives were lost due to distracted driving in 2015. That is 3,477 lives too many.

One main type of distracted driving involves texting or talking on the phone while driving. This is especially concerning among teens. In a 2015 National Occupant Protection Use survey, handheld cell phone use was found to be highest among 16-24 year old drivers. It’s important that teen drivers and their parents have conversations about safe, distraction-free driving.

Many states already have laws in place that ban texting while driving. As of June 2017, 14 states as well as the District of Columbia, have laws in effect that ban drivers from operating hand-held devices. Even using hands-free devices can be distracting while driving. Protect your life and the life of others—avoid distracted driving. If you need to answer a text or phone call, pull over to a safe place, stop, and then answer.

Check out some helpful resources below:

Traffic Safety Facts | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Distracted Driving | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving | The AAA Exchange

Learn the Causes and Dangers of Distracted Driving | Students Against Destructive Decisions

Distracted Driving. (N.d.) Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving
Distracted Driving. (2017, June 9). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html

Driver Electronic Device Use in 2015. (2016, September). Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/driver_electronic_device_use_in_2015_0.pdf

Learn the Causes and Dangers of Distracted Driving. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.sadd.org/what-we-care-about/traffic-safety/teens-distracted-driving/

Puppy Pressure: Friends Are Waiting


They say sex sells, but maybe puppies do, too. It’s not the first time that Budweiser employed the use of the highly emotional use of Puppy Love to advertise their product, as the company did earlier this year during Super Bowl XLVIII, but the new “Friends Are Waiting” ad comes with a health message:


Released for Friday’s Global Be(er) Responsible Day, the ad tells a narrative of a puppy taken to his new home, growing up, and spending time with his beloved owner as subtly placed bottles appear in the background. The music then takes a turn and evokes a strong emotional appeal as the dog whimpers for the owner’s return, and we are hit with the sad message, “For some, the waiting never ended.”

The emotional roller coaster gives us another twist after the ad declares, “we can change that.” Upon the owner’s return, we get the relief of seeing the dog light up again before the health message arrives—don’t drink and drive. The owner apologizes to his loyal friend, saying that he decided not to drive and stayed over at Dave’s instead.

Emotional appeals for public service announcements on impaired driving have been used before, often in the form of fear appeals, but this ad manages to use sadness followed immediately by the relief of happiness through the adorable use of a four-legged companion to bring one message: Your #FriendsAreWaiting.





Canary App

Canary: An App That “Sings” about Distracted Driving

Big Brother is starting to look familiar – say, like mom or dad.

Canary, a new iPhone and Android app, allows parents to monitor how safely their kids are driving. The app can notify parents by email or push notification when their teenagers do any of the following: talk or text while driving, drive over the speed limit, drive into “off-limit” areas, or violate curfew.

The app can’t read texts or even know specifically when a teen is sending or reading a text. Rather, the app senses when a teen unlocks her phone while in a car and uses this data as a proxy for distracted driving.

Distracted driving is pervasive among teens, according to a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study cited in a Mashable article about Canary. Twenty-five percent of surveyed teens reported responding to a text once or more every time they drive, while 30% reported reading a text once or more every time they drive.

But distracted driving doesn’t just mean texting anymore. According to the study, more than half of teens said they search for music on a portable music player while driving and 10% said they update or check a social media site while driving.

Distraction.gov, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, says, “You’re 23x more likely to crash if you text while driving.” The site reports that, in 2010, distracted driving-related crashes resulted in over 3,000 deaths.

I’m not a parent. I don’t know what it’s like to watch your child drive off, fingers crossed he’ll arrive home in one piece. But in the age of nanny cams and constant supervision, I wonder, is the Canary app just another tool enabling overprotective parents and infringing upon the privacy of teenagers? Or is it simply a resource for parents to keep their kids safe?

Image source: Mashable.com.