Driving will always be a controversial topic in one form or another since so many people around the world do it on a daily basis. And safety is one of those controversies since it’s always under fire from issues such as distracted and inhibited driving practices. That said, a new study was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and they found that amongst the people they polled, drivers in general feel less safe on the road than five years ago.
According to Jim Foley, a researcher at Toyota Motor Corp’s Technical Center and a participant in the study, drivers feel less safe because of increasing driver distractions such as talking on the phone or other forms of multitasking while driving.
As a hardcore driver myself, I must attest to this study and finding because I myself feel less safe on the road than I used to. But there are numerous reasons as to why I feel the same, one of them already stated: distracted driving. The other reasons place some of the blame on the manufacturers. For instance, it is indeed “cool and hip” that some companies are featuring wireless social technologies such as Facebook and Twitter feeds. But in a society already distracted by the cell phone while driving, adding Facebook and Twitter to the motoring experience has the potential of distracting drivers even more.
Additionally, there’s my argument with driver aids such as traction and stability control and lane-departure warning systems and what not. While admittedly, they do increase driver safety, they also dilute the experience of driving. In other words, cars are so easy and safe to drive that it almost becomes mindless because people are putting their trust in such safety systems. In the days where cars didn’t have such technology, people had to pay good attention to the way a particular drives and handles. For example, if you got into an old Mercedes with no ABS or traction control, you’d know to be careful in the inclement of weather. So is not the case any more, almost making the push for safe driving a double-edged sword.
Of course, there are many other points to emphasize in this discussion of motoring safety and it would require a post the size of a novelette. So I figured I’d open it up to the readers. What are your thoughts egmCarTech’ers?
– By: Chris Chin