In many provinces, impaired driving is no longer the main cause of traffic deaths: texting is.
We are bombarded by evidence of public notice on the dangers of driver texting, and an example is a recent Globe and Mail opinion piece of Elizabeth Renzetti. Renzetti notes the study from the University of Utah which finds that talking on the phone while driving increases the risk of an accident by four times, texting by eight times! It is as destructive to safety as being drunk behind the wheel. “I can’t help myself”, is the general excuse.
It's doubtful that increasing penalties will have a desired effect of supressing the dangers of texting while driving. Technology, including the disabling of cell signals in cars, avoids the fallible human factor and gives a reliable solution.
It may be that vehicle safety is about to take a leap forward by way of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V-to-V. In various studies run by governmental authorities, drivers have been put in situations where automobile warning technology signals were triggered. These signals were visual, auditory or tactile warnings. 90% of drivers found the technology useful.
The U.S. Department of Justice is convinced, and is drafting regulations for V-to-V technology in light vehicles.
One direction in which technology is heading is to communicate with sensors on signs, stop lights, bus stops and in road surfaces. For example, the day is coming when you won’t be able to drive your vehicle through a red light, because the communication between the traffic control device and your vehicle will prevent it!
Fallible human nature needs all the help it can get in preventing highway death and injury.
(Did you know that driverless cars have arrived? Read this blog article The Future Of Driving Without Drivers here.)