Tag Archives: distracted driving

Unimaginable Grief of Preventable Crash Deaths: advocates tackling a public health problem head on.

Late last year, Neal Pollack interviewed me. He asked about our crash story and our family’s advocacy efforts. Then he proceeded to interview other traffic safety advocates as well. This is what he recently wrote:

The Unimaginable Grief of Distracted Driving Deaths How road safety advocates are tackling a public health problem head on.  BY NEAL POLLACK JANUARY 19, 2017

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Innovative solution to modifying cell phone use while driving – from a family who knows dangers

After Josh and his sister survived a crash due to a texting driver, he decided to do something about the problem of distracted driving due to cell phone use.

“This honour system where we expect you to protect yourself, put your phone away while driving, it doesn’t work,” said Josh, now 26. “Technology created the problem and technology is the only way to solve the problem.”

Today, Josh and his father have a company called Keeping Roads Safe, which makes a product called DriveCare. The device prevents drivers’ mobile phones from displaying calls, texts and social media notifications while their vehicles are turned on, sending an automatic reply to incoming text messages informing the sender the recipient is driving and unable to respond.

– See more at: https://keepingroadssafe.ca/fatal-distraction-national-post/#sthash.NiEuBsxR.dpuf

Both AndIrreversible tragedies

My answer to concern over distracted driving & “Biggest Spike in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years?. . .”

I see a lot of attention being given to the increase in traffic deaths. That is great. I’m hoping that the level of awareness leads to action.

Here is a recent New York Times article on distracted driving: Biggest Spike in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years? Blame Apps, By NEAL E. BOUDETTE NOV. 15, 2016

My short (and long) answer: involve citizens in a nationwide network of Traffic Safety/Vision Zero community action groups.

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What will it take to make a significant reduction in the number of people who die on our roads?

“Phone Makers Could Cut Off Drivers. So Why Don’t They?” Well?

Phone Makers Could Cut Off Drivers. So Why Don’t They?, NYTimes,  Matt Richtel, September 24, 2016

This article asks some of the same questions which I have asked before. Namely, don’t phone manufacturers bear some responsibility to make them harder to use when driving?

Don’t Be Caught Unaware: Find out what YOU can do to become a safer driver

Irreversible tragedies

What will it take to make a significant reduction in the number of people who die on our roads?

“Trucking Regulations Don’t Address Biggest Risk – Unsafe Behavior” by a husband/wife trucker team

You will want to read this in-depth article on truck safety full of practical knowledge and insight — written by a trucker husband/wife team.

Opinion: Trucking Regulations Don’t Address Biggest Risk – Unsafe Behavior, Trucks.com, by Jeff & Linda Halling, September 8, 2016

Written by Jeff and Linda Halling, a husband-and-wife driving team based in Missouri. This is one in a series of periodic guest columns by industry thought leaders.

While the federal government is adding new trucking industry regulations — including speed limiters for big rigs and electronic logging devices for drivers — these moves don’t really address the root causes of truck crashes.

If we really want to improve safety for truckers and the motoring public, we need to focus on the base reasons for unsafe behavior. We believe better training is key — teaching drivers good work habits. That will reduce the frequency of truck crashes. . .

Read more here: Trucking Regulations Don’t Address Biggest Risk – Unsafe Behavior

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NHTSA asking for Comments on guideline to address growing problem of distracted & drowsy driving

I just received a notification that NHTSA is asking for Public Comments on a new guideline which they have developed for states to address the growing problem of distracted and drowsy driving. This follows recent news about the number of crash deaths so far in 2016 which has increased from the crash deaths in 2015 which increased from the crash deaths in 2013  — which included my two youngest daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13).

NHTSA has developed a new guideline on distracted and drowsy driving, No. 9, to address these growing problems. This new guideline will help States develop plans to address distracted and drowsy driving. In 2014, ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes. These proportions have remained stable over the past five years of reported data. In 2014, there were 3,179 people killed and an estimated additional 431,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distraction-affected drivers. Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers killed in the age range who were distracted at the time of the crashes. Lastly, in 2014, there were 520 non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, killed in distraction-affected crashes. (1) The limitations of these data are described in an April 2016 Traffic Safety Facts Research Note (DOT HS 812 260). (2)

Current estimates range from 2 percent to 20 percent of annual traffic deaths attributable to driver drowsiness. According to NHTSA, annually on average from 2009 to 2013, there were over 72,000 police-reported crashes involving drowsy drivers, injuring more than an estimated 41,000 people, and killing more than 800. (3) By using a multiple imputation methodology, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 7 percent of all crashes and 16.5 percent of fatal crashes involved a drowsy driver. (4) This estimate suggests that more than 5,000 people died in drowsy-driving-related motor vehicle crashes across the United States last year. Research conducted in 2012 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed drivers ages 16-24 were the most likely to report having fallen asleep while driving within the past year. (5) Finally, the AAA Foundation’s 2015 Traffic Safety Index reported that nearly all drivers (97.0%) view drowsy driving as a serious threat to their safety and a completely unacceptable behavior; however, nearly 1 in 3 (31.5%) admitted to driving when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month. (6)

It is important that States begin to address the problems of distracted and drowsy driving. This guideline is designed to help policymakers with decisions about how best to address these growing issues.

READ MORE HERE:  Amendments to Highway Safety Program Guidelines

Irreversible tragedies

Please comment here by September 22, 2016: Amendments to Highway Safety Program Guidelines

DWF = Driving While Fatigued (or Drowsy Driving)

Driver fatigue can affect any driver–you included, or the driver of a vehicle in which you are a passenger.

“…Driving while fatigued is comparable to driving drunk, only there is not the same social stigma attached. Like alcohol, fatigue affects our ability to drive by slowing reaction time, decreasing awareness and impairing judgment. Driving while sleep impaired is a significant issue, and is no longer tolerated. Legislation {in Canada} is beginning to change by handling collisions cause by a fatigued driver as seriously as alcohol-impaired crashes.” https://canadasafetycouncil.org/safety-canada-online/article/driver-fatigue-falling-asleep-wheel

Posts on this topic:

Our truck crash may have involved a tired trucker: http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/our-crash-was-not-an-accident/

Tired Trucker Roundtable

http://annaleahmary.com/2016/08/tired-trucker-roundtable-if-we-plan-it-they-will-come-can-we-pull-it-off/

A National Traffic Safety Ombudsman could help to facilitate a nationwide network of Traffic Safety/Vision Zero Community Action/Advocacy Groups to get citizens involved in working to solve this kind of problem, as well as other traffic safety issues.

An Advocate for a Safer America: Have you signed the Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition yet?

August 3 UPDATE: The petition on the White House site is expired. Please sign our new Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition at Care2;  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/384/321/600/end-preventable-crash-fatalities-appoint-a-national-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

We are asking for 100,000 Americans to sign our new Traffic Safety Ombudsman petition on WhiteHouse petition site. Once we get 150 signatures, it will become searchable on their website.

If we are able to get 100,000 signatures in 30 days — by July 31, then the White House has promised that they will respond to our new petition, which calls on President Obama to appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman, who will be an Advocate for Safer Roads.

Why on earth am I asking for another government-funded worker — a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman? And whatever would that person do anyway? Read more here:

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which will say this in the subject line:  “Almost done! Verify your Petitions.WhiteHouse.gov account.” Follow the instructions to verify your signature.

 

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whitehouse.gov PETITION: End preventable crash fatalities/Appoint Nat’l Traffic Safety Ombudsman

August 3 UPDATE: The petition on the White House site is expired. Please sign our new Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition at Care2;  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/384/321/600/end-preventable-crash-fatalities-appoint-a-national-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

We are asking for 100,000 Americans to sign our new petition on WhiteHouse petition site. Once we get 150 signatures, it will become searchable on their website.

If we are able to get 100,000 signatures in 30 days — by July 31, then the White House has promised that they will respond to our new petition, which calls on President Obama to appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman, who will be an Advocate for Safer Roads.

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which you have to reply to in order to confirm your signature is valid.

What the Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition says:

Every average day in the U.S., 100 of our loved ones die in crashes and 400 more suffer serious crash injuries–along with $2 Billion in crash losses.

We propose that the President establish an independent Office of National Traffic Safety Ombudsman to be an advocate to eliminate preventable crash deaths and serious injuries.

We need someone who has a mandate to advocate on behalf of the victims, someone who is not compromised by competing interests. We call on the President to take this action to protect our families and loved ones from one of the leading causes of preventable death.

Traffic Safety has not been a national priority. Without this Presidential action, too many lives will continue to be lost to vehicle violence.

Please SIGN the Petition: https://wh.gov/i6kUj. Then, SHARE this post. We have to get 100,000 in 30 days! July 31 is the target date.

 Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition
Read this post for Memes & Videos to help you raise awareness & promote this petition: Memes & Other Tools to Spread the Vision of a Traffic Safety Ombudsman to Advocate for Safer Roads
Read more about how a Traffic Safety Ombudsman could help us move more quickly toward ending tragic and preventable crash fatalities and life-altering crash injuries:

A grieving mom appeals to the President (short version):

A grieving mom appeals to the President (longer version):

Let’s demand safety, America, for We the People:

SIGN  & SHARE the WhiteHouse.gov TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

Questions? Comments? email me: marianne@annaleahmary.com

Driven distracted lately? You and who else? Where will we end up?

With a national focus on Distracted Driving this month, I thought that I would highlight the posts which I have written on that deadly subject: Distracted Driving posts on annaleahmary.com.

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“2016 GHSA Annual Meeting Crossroads: The Intersection of Technology and Driver Behavior”

2016 GHSA Annual Meeting Crossroads: The Intersection of Technology and Driver Behavior

Seattle, Washington | Aug. 27 – 31

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