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Technology may limit poor driving behaviors

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New Yorkers are probably aware of the dangers negligent, careless or reckless drivers pose to everyone on the city’s roadways. Distracted driving is one such bad behavior that can have very serious consequences, although it is often associated solely with cell phone use.

According to Distraction.gov, any activities become driving hazards when they pull focus away from the road. These include personal hygiene, changing the radio station and talking to passengers. Even eating and drinking are distractions, since they take the mind and at least one hand from driving, and often also involve reaching for something in the vehicle – another major distraction factor.

CBS New York reports that technology may provide solutions for a variety of these bad behaviors behind the wheel. Phone applications and in-vehicle systems are coming to the rescue, and experts hope to see a corresponding fall in the numbers of crashes.

Risky activities are more prevalent for teens than drivers over the age of 20, and this may be the primary reason manufacturers are marketing many tech products to parents. For example, one program will not engage the radio unless the driver is wearing a seatbelt. Some onboard systems allow parents to regulate teens’ speed and how far they can travel from home, and key fobs can be programed to send messages to parents when teens violate the preset limits.

Some systems can block drivers from using their cell phones – technology that some adults may want to use as a self-regulating tool. Parents are expected to find it especially appealing, though, since research indicates that teens are the drivers most likely to have a distraction-related crash. Many are looking to new studies for downward trends to develop as the programs become more widespread.

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