Osteopathic Group Wants Ban on Distracted Driving Devices

The American Osteopathic Association has come out in favor of legislation banning activities that cause distracted driving. Citing a growing body of research that show 660,000 drivers use cell phones or electronic devices, the health care organization of 104,000 osteopathic physicians said the public health problem needs a legislative solution.

“Texting while driving can lead to dangerous consequences, including serious injury or death,” says Gregory Christiansen, DO, a board-certified emergency medicine physician. “If you need to make a phone call or send a text, it is much safer to pull over rather than keep driving.”

In 2011, according to NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. However, a new study from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that these government statistics on the Distracted Driving problem are deeply flawed, defy common sense and severely underestimate the extent of the deadly public health epidemic that is killing untold thousands and injuring millions more.

The latest NSC analysis comes as automakers are redoubling efforts to increase the use of phones, infotainment systems and web access in their vehicles – the root cause of the deaths and injuries.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is taking on the oft-used automaker defense their profitable selling of hands-free electronic devices that are expanding exponentially in new cars. The latest data show that dangerous mental distractions exist even when drivers “keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road,” the verbal fig leaf automakers use to mask the deadly problem.

The AAA distracted driving research found that as mental workload and distractions increase, reaction time slows, brain function is compromised, drivers scan the road less and miss visual cues, potentially resulting in drivers not seeing items right in front of them including stop signs and pedestrians.

The Auto Alliance, a lobbying group for virtually all major automakers, has been using this message as a defense for the expanding use of automotive electronics. These of course are among the most profitable and sought after accessories in new cars and trucks.

Automakers, phone companies, internet service providers, electronics makers, and above all consumers have thus far shown little interest in curtailing their use in spite of mounting injuries and fatalities caused by them. Handheld consumer electronic devices are equally troubling and unaddressed thus far by NHTSA.

Read AutoInformed on:

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
This entry was posted in auto news, distracted driving and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *