Six Tech Innovations for Safer Driving

Six Tech Innovations for Safer Driving

It’s a common myth that we can safely multitask behind the wheel. Texting, talking, and navigating through apps on our phone isn’t a big issue for us, we think, because we’re amazing drivers. But statistics tell a different story: Research shows that drivers using handheld — and even hands-free — phones take in only about 50% of all the information in their driving environment. This phenomenon is called “inattention blindness” and can lead to incidents like drivers missing stop signs or colliding with pedestrians, often with tragic results.

In 2021 alone, over 360,000 people were injured and over 3,500 deaths were caused by distracted driving. Crashes caused by acknowledged phone use while driving caused 410 fatalities in 2021 — the actual numbers are no doubt much higher.

By definition, distracted driving is more than just talking on the phone. Taking your eyes off the road to read or type a text message naturally counts as well. Distracted driving also includes things like eating, changing music, and reaching for something inside the cabin while driving.

While technology can be a distraction, it can also help us stay focused on the road and our surroundings. The following should be used only as intended (and in the case of hands-free functions, only sparingly) and adjusted only when your vehicle is stopped.

  1. Head-Up Display (HUD) Units – Aftermarket HUDs can project information onto the windshield, providing essential details like speed and navigation without the need to look down at the dashboard.
  2. Smartphone Mounts & Holders – Sturdy mounts and holders keep smartphones securely in place, making it easier for drivers to glance at navigation directions.
  3. Voice Control Devices – External voice control systems can be added to vehicles, allowing you to control various functions through voice commands.
  4. Mobile Apps for Safe Driving – Numerous smartphone apps can be downloaded to encourage safe driving habits, performing tasks such as disabling texting functions, sending automatic replies, or providing feedback on driving behavior.
  5. Cell Phone Blocking – This technology prohibits calls and texts while a vehicle is in motion. Advanced systems are capable of blocking audio features, tracking both speed and sudden stops.
  6. Drowsiness Detection Devices – These aftermarket devices monitor driving patterns and provide alerts if signs of drowsiness are detected.

The National Safety Council has declared April Distracted Driving Awareness Month, reminding everyone, “When you’re behind the wheel, your only job is to drive.”

We agree.

At Traffic Plan, safety is our first concern — not only for our traffic controllers who guide vehicles through work zones, but for our customers and the drivers and pedestrians we interact with on the job. Let’s all be more aware of our driving habits and remove distractions from the equation while we’re behind the wheel. Keep your mind focused on the road, and get to your destination safely.