Peggy Smedley, editorial director/publisher of Connected World magazine said, “In 2009 more than 5,000 people were killed because of distracted driving. I recently spoke with Ray LaHood who called distracted driving an epidemic because everyone has a cellphone or texting device. We’re encouraging the public to come out and see all the new devices that automakers are putting into cars to deal with this issue.”
Faced with repeated studies that show that the most dangerous thing about a car is what the driver is doing, and the huge rise of a variety of handheld devices, automobile manufacturers are doing their best to find ways of controlling the behavior of drivers and making their driving experience safer.
The 2012 Connected World Conference sets the stage for what’s next in M2M and connected devices. But it is also trying to address the mounting concerns from safety officials, police and legislators who feel the rise of mobile devices if also decreasing safety on the roads. (Even pedestrians are regularly creating hazards for themselves by trying to walk while staring at their handheld device. YouTube is full of videos of these folks falling into fountains, tripping over benches and walking into light poles.)
Addressing the issue of vehicle safety is not just the job of automobile manufacturers or the people who design and sell handheld devices. The fact is, as every defensive driver already knows, driving safely is more about how you drive than what you drive or what sort of portable digital device you own.
In crash investigation after crash investigation the leading cause is almost always proven to be the behavior of the driver. They might be speeding, ignoring traffic safety devices (like stop signs or traffic lights) or trying to send a text or make a phone call. Regardless of what they’re doing, it is their behavior and not the inanimate device which is responsible for what happens next.