Eating or drinking while driving is as dangerous as using a cellphoneEnlarge Photo
Distracted driving kills. That's a fact.
In 2009 distracted driving led to the deaths of 5,474 people in America. The technology that has captivated generation Y, iPods, cell phones, GPS systems, etc., are also leading us down a dangerous path.
There has been some action against cell phone use in cars. 28 states have laws stating that beginning drivers are forbidden to use their phone while driving. 8 states won't allow any use at all, and 30 have a ban on texting. The texting one can't be very easy to enforce. Most people do it below the windows of their car where the phone can't be seen from the outside.
The most terrifying rides of my life have been with drivers that are prone to distractions. They read and send text messages, fiddle with music and other things in the car while they are driving.
Some automakers, like Ford, offer voice-activated technologies that allow hands-free use of the stereo, phone, and other controls in the vehicle. However, that isn't something that you can just freely install in any old car. There needs to be an easier solution to prevent someone from letting their idle hands cause distraction while driving.
I think I have come up with the solution. For ages I would say that a manual transmission is the way to go, because most of the time your hands aren't free to toy with electronics. However, on the highway it is still a problem. By then you are in fifth or sixth gear coasting along with the cruise control set, not paying attention at all. At these speeds the real danger sets in.
There has to be a way to drive a car that requires both hands all the time...
Little did we know the solution has been there for years.
Paraplegic drivers have no use of their feet. They operate automobiles only with their hands. To the side of the steering wheel is a lever that is connected to the gas and brake pedals (sorry purists, no clutch here). In a car without cruise control, it is absolutely impossible to drive safely without using both hands at all times.
They aren't difficult to use at all. Anyone with enough skills to drive a car can use the controls. They just take a couple miles to get used to.
So, this is my proposed solution to the distracted driving problem. I say we take a similar action that states take to drunk driving offenders. Repeat offenders are required to have hand controls installed on their car, so that their hands are never free again.
Does this solution sound too ridiculous to you? Do you have any ideas to help solve the distracted driving "epidemic" in America? Let us know in the comments section!
Source: [The Car Connection]