Distracted Driving Is a Bigger Problem Than We Thought

The numbers do not lie: 37,150 people in the US died due to distracted driving in 2017. But, sadly that is not the worst part of the news. Researchers are finding that there is no single cause to preventing distracted driving.

This means that there is no direct route to a solution resulting in more and more deaths. Right now, the only thing proven to work is to spread awareness about distracted driving.

Another thing that experts are deciding to try is how to make smartphone connectivity to cars to take less attention. Almost every new car on the market makes it easy to connect your phone to your car.

You are able to stream music, map directions, and in some cases even order food, coffee, etc. This is taking many drivers’ attention away from the road, in drivers aged 17 to 22 spend at least 12% of their time behind the wheel messing with their smart phones. Any percentage of time on your phone behind the wheel is too much time directed away from the road.

Both Apple and Android have their own extensions for cars. At one point Apple demanded more of customers’ attention than the Android version when entering directions and getting from one place to another. But, when it came to texting Android was by far more of a distraction. However, both must make a change to reduce the threat of distracted driving.

With all of the new tech in cars, come inward facing cameras. Some people are not okay with that for privacy reasons which is understandable as to a degree, it is a basic right, in most peoples’ eyes. However, these cameras may help develop self-driving cars with the data it collects. Additionally, it may be our answer to solving the distracted driving epidemic.

The data the cameras collected from crashes and everyday driving habits can be analyzed by experts to determine how to make the new technology in vehicles less cognitively demanding or even develop an algorithm to prevent inappropriate use while the vehicle is in motion.

But, how much privacy are consumers really willing to give up? How much of their data are companies entitled to? Right now, there is not much regulation, but it is probably coming soon as new cars will soon all have this technology.

There must be some type of compromise because when this data is used appropriately, breakthroughs can happen. For example, a lot of the tracking built into these cars can prevent crimes. A lot of the data provided can solve the mystery of crashes, including distracted driving crashes and provoke ideas on how to prevent them. The results can save money on auto insurance, medical bills, and most importantly lives which are priceless.

4 Things to Think About When Buying From Car Dealers

Before you go to visit car dealers, it’s worth putting in a little time to research options. This is a process you don’t necessarily have to undertake alone. Salespeople can be useful allies in this acquisition, both in the initial purchase and further down the road. Here are a few things you can do to better equip yourself for the experience:

Do Your Research

The internet has allowed us to connect in ways we could not have imagined and allows for a level of transparency not seen before. This is advantageous for someone in the market for a new vehicle. You have the ability to compare prices, conditions, makes, and models at several different car dealers without leaving your home. You can even begin communicating with a salesperson online via email or chat features, building a relationship with him before you ever step foot on the lot.

Leasing and Financing Options

Purchasing a new or like-new vehicle is a big financial undertaking. You may opt not to take on this burden all at once. Leasing and financing are both options you can consider to alleviate the initial cost of buying an automobile. And a salesperson can be very helpful in navigating these options. Since they have worked with many customers, they have a comprehensive view of the market and would be able to tell you the benefits and drawbacks of leasing and financing for someone in your unique financial situation.

Leasing and financing are also both useful options because many car dealers have begun to offer maintenance packages with their loans. This means that you won’t have to worry about where to take your automobile when you need an oil change or your tires rotated.

Online Estimators

Many car dealers have started offering value estimators on their websites. This means you can get an idea of what your trade-in is worth without ever leaving your home. Online resources can also provide information about common problems with certain models. The reasoning for the value of an automobile often includes customer complaints about that model.

See the Car in Person

Terms like “good” or “like-new” can seem incredibly vague until you see the vehicle and its condition yourself. A salesperson will also be able to tell you about recent maintenance and body work, giving you a more comprehensive view of the automobile’s condition and value.

Good car dealers will always be open and upfront about the process of buying a vehicle. A salesperson will help you with the steps involved in getting you behind the wheel. These extra tips will allow you to purchase with confidence.

Safer Cars Does Not Mean Safer Roads

These days, it is pretty standard for cars to include top of the line safety features. These range from rear-view cameras, lane departure warnings, traction control and even blind spot detection.

Driving a safe vehicle can also mean more money in your pocket as drivers can save on car insurance cost. A car insurance company is generally able to provide more affordable car insurance if your vehicle has safety features. However, safer cars do not necessarily mean safer roads across the country.

From January to June, approximately 18,720 people have died on U.S. roads. As a result of a growing economy, people are driving more miles compared to recession level data. Less unemployment means more cars are on the road getting people to and from work and more money for leisure activities. In 2017, Americans traveled 3.22 trillion miles according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Factor in more miles driven along with speeding, drug and alcohol impaired driving and distracted driving and the fatality rate is at an all-time high.

South Carolina leads the nation in traffic fatality rates per miles traveled. In 2017, the state had 1.88 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, which is almost two times the national average. Illinois reported 1,090 traffic deaths.

This trend prompted Governor Rauner to declare August 17 as Traffic Fatality Awareness Day at the Illinois State Fair through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Health, Illinois Secretary of State and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

States across the country have launched similar awareness efforts like Vision Zero. Vision Zero’s goal is to strategically eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for everyone.

Reducing speed is perhaps the most effective way to reduce the fatalities. Speed increases the distance it takes a car to come to a complete stop. The speed of impact is also directly correlated to the risk of death. The higher the speed of impact, the higher the probability of a passenger dying becomes.

Even with lower speeds, it is hard for police officers to enforce these lower limits. Automated cameras are already unpopular and adding more would also be costly.