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New tech to keep smartphones from distracting drivers

Of the many drivers in Wisconsin and elsewhere who distract themselves with their smartphone, some wish for new technology that can save them from themselves, so to speak. It may seem ironic, but there are devices out there to solve the problem that was caused by technology in the first place. One company has developed a device that plugs into the car and links the driver's phone to its service provider via a cloud. The service provider can block all communications once the user is driving.

How autonomous vehicles affect crash coverage

The development of autonomous vehicle technologies may be of interest to many people in Wisconsin, especially with the potential they pose for improving vehicle and driving safety. Car crashes cause over 100 deaths across the country every day, and many manufacturers and enthusiasts look at the development of self-driving cars as a way to mitigate the level of human error that can be dangerous on the roads. However, autonomous technology has not yet reached the level of truly self-propelled vehicles. While such cars are in development, the most common technologies are those that are designed to assist a human driver by highlighting potential dangers and helping them avoid crashes.

Obeying Wisconsin seat belt law could prevent fatal injuries

Wisconsin has one of the nation's strictest seat belt laws, and road safety advocates have urged lawmakers in other parts of the country to follow the Badger State's example. All passenger vehicle occupants in Wisconsin must fasten their seat belts, and the results of a study published recently in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reveals that taking this safety precaution could prevent them from suffering potentially fatal liver injuries in a crash.

Distracted driving varies by state

Using a cell phone while in a moving vehicle could be considered a form of distracted driving. Those in Wisconsin use their phones on 36 percent of all car trips in 2017, which is below the national median phone use rate. Drivers in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama used their phones during 47, 45 and 44 percent of car trips in 2017, which was the highest in the United States.

Daydreaming a bigger problem than cellphones, study says

Wisconsin motorists might be cautious about using their cellphone while they are driving, but according to one study, a greater danger may come from drivers who daydream instead of keeping their thoughts and eyes on the road ahead. Erie Insurance looked at national data for fatalities over five years and found that more accidents in which distracted driving was a factor involved daydreaming than cellphones.

The dangers of distracted driving

Wisconsin motorists may be interested to learn that a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that nearly half of the participants reported bad driving behavior. Even so, more than half of the participants viewed talking on a phone while driving as being a major threat while 78 percent viewed texting while driving as dangerous as well.

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