Distraction

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

The next version of the standard software included on Apple’s iPhones will include a feature that detects driving and then blocks distracting notifications including calls and messages. The overridable feature, known as ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’, will operate automatically once the phone’s owner has opted-in to the feature the first time the phone detects driving. Passengers, and indeed drivers who click the passenger button, will be able to override the mode at all times. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested […]

New German campaign focuses on the people affected by a single road death

New German campaign focuses on the people affected by a single road death

The German Road Safety Council (DVR), an ETSC member, has launched a new national communications campaign with three key messages: slow down; keep your distance and hands off your phone. For the first time the campaign also looks at the numbers of people affected by every road death including family and friends, colleagues as well as the emergency workers that have to deal with the carnage. An average of 113 people is the figure used for the new approach. https://www.runtervomgas.de/

France: Call for presidential candidates to back mobile phone driving ban for employees

France: Call for presidential candidates to back mobile phone driving ban for employees

Association Prévention Routière, ETSC’s French member organisation, has published a list of road safety priorities for the Presidential election candidates. The proposals include a ban on use of mobile phones while driving by all company employees and a target of zero children killed on French roads. Some major corporations have already banned their employees from using mobile phone (including hands free kits) at the wheel, including Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company. The manifesto was sent to all presidential candidates. Eight out of eleven […]

ETSC outlines ways of reducing deaths in single motor vehicle collisions

ETSC outlines ways of reducing deaths in single motor vehicle collisions

A third of road deaths in the EU happen in collisions that involve a single motorised vehicle where the driver/rider and/or passengers are killed but no other road users are involved. These Single Vehicle Collisions (SVCs), and how to prevent them occurring, are the subject of a new report from ETSC, published today. Nearly 7300 road users lost their lives in 2015 in SVCs in the EU with around 100,000 such deaths occurring over the last ten years according to the data revealed in […]

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

UK: New drivers caught using phones to lose license

Drivers in England, Scotland and Wales caught using their phones at the wheel within two years of passing their test will have their driving license taken away under a new law that came into force on 1 March. Penalties for other drivers have also been doubled to GBP 200 and six penalty points. Responding to the new British law, the Irish transport minister Shane Ross said he is open to imposing similar measures in Ireland. ETSC’s German member DVR called in January for fines […]

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

Several countries looking to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel

A ban on mobile phone use while driving, tougher enforcement and a driving mode for devices are some of the options being explored by governments around Europe as data show distracted driving’s deadly impact continues unabated. The Dutch Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told the AD newspaper last November that the government was considering several options to reduce the risk of distracted driving, including a full ban or requiring that certain features, such as Pokémon Go, be switched off automatically above a certain […]

Professional training for truckers should be extended to van drivers

Professional training for truckers should be extended to van drivers

Earlier this month, the European Commission published a proposal to revise qualification and training rules for lorry and bus drivers. ETSC welcomed the initiative but says the rules should be extended to van drivers and include elements on avoiding distraction. Data from 2014 show that 3,863 people were killed in collisions involving HGVs of more than 3.5 tons and 751 in those involving buses and coaches. But ETSC points out that more die in collisions involving vans, than with lorries (nearly 4,000 in 2012).  […]

Safety fears over reduced fines in Greece

Safety fears over reduced fines in Greece

ETSC’s Greek member organisation RSI Panos Mylonas has strongly rejected a government proposal to cut fines for traffic offences including speeding and use of mobile phones at the wheel. The plans came to light in a Sunday newspaper interview with deputy minister Nikolaos Toskas. Mr Toskas commented that the current fines are too high for Greek people facing difficult economic circumstances. While sympathetic to the harsh financial pressures many Greeks are facing, RSI Panos Mylonas and ETSC commented that the move would be a […]

The US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued new guidelines aimed at encouraging phone manufacturers to introduce an automatic ‘Driver Mode’ to cut down on distracting apps and messages while driving. The proposals, announced earlier this month, are voluntary. They envisage a simplified display, and a block on distracting apps, both of which could be activated automatically while driving.  Samsung’s popular Galaxy series of phones offer a drive mode already but it must be activated manually. Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone has no such feature, […]

Using a hands free kit while driving ‘as distracting’

Using a hands free kit while driving ‘as distracting’

Driving while talking on a hands-free phone can be as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile, psychologists at the University of Sussex say. The study, published in the Transportation Research journal, found that drivers having conversations which sparked their visual imagination detected fewer road hazards than those who didn’t.  They also focused on a smaller area of the road ahead of them and failed to see hazards, even when they looked directly at them. This shows the risks of even hands-free phone conversations. […]

New York State to consider ‘textalyser’ technology

New York State to consider ‘textalyser’ technology

Two New York State politicians, together with a road safety advocacy organisation are aiming to introduce a new law requiring police to scan drivers’ mobile phones for possible activity in the run up to collisions. The proposed legislation is linked to development of technology nicknamed a ‘textalyser’ which claims to be able to scan a mobile device for recent activity such as calling or texting, without releasing personal information. The system could be carried out by police at the crash site, much as drivers […]

Mobile use at the wheel doubles crash risk – US study

Mobile use at the wheel doubles crash risk – US study

Drivers more than double their crash risk when they choose to engage in distracting activities that require them to take their eyes off the road, such as using a mobile phone, reading or writing, or using touchscreen menus on a vehicle instrument panel, according to new American research. The authors of the study say drivers engage in some type of distracting activity more than 50 percent of the time they are driving. “These findings are important because we see a younger population of drivers, […]

Two studies warn on implications of in-vehicle distraction

Two studies warn on implications of in-vehicle distraction

Better data collection on the role of distraction in collisions across the EU and a standardised interface to fix and connect mobile devices to the car dashboard are two of the recommendations of a new report on countermeasures for in-vehicle distraction for the European Commission. The study, by TRL, TNO and Rapp-Trans, published last month says data on how many collisions involve distraction is poor but experts estimate that it plays a role in 10-30% of them. The authors suggest promoting ‘Distracted by device’ […]

Managing Road Risk at Work – Case Study: Unilever Poland

Managing Road Risk at Work – Case Study: Unilever Poland

Case study: Unilever Poland ETSC’s PRAISE project addresses the safety aspects of driving at work and driving to work. Its aim is to promote best practice in order to help employers secure high road safety standards for their employees. In this interview, Edyta Karpiuk-Jagodzinska, Safety, Health and Environment Coordinator for Poland and the Baltics at Unilever discusses how the organisation has integrated road safety into the heart of its operations. FACTFILE Company: Unilever Poland (2014 ETSC PRAISE Awards – Highly Commended) Sector: Fast Moving Consumer Goods […]

Luxembourg toughens up penalty point system

Luxembourg toughens up penalty point system

Drivers caught speeding in Luxembourg will face tougher penalties from 1 June when a revised driving license points system comes into force. Speeders will have four or six points deducted, up from two or four points today. For the first time, drivers caught using a phone or tablet while driving, tail gating or ignoring one way signs will also lose two points on their license. Drink and drug drivers will also see in an increase in the penalty from four to six points. Political […]

Road safety videos reflect diverging trends in campaigning

New road safety campaigns from France and Finland take vastly different approaches to getting road safety messages across. The new French video, launched in February, shows in bleak, close-up images the impact of road collisions on several individuals who suffered life changing injuries, and their families. It follows a number of increasingly shocking films released in recent months that have included a class of primary school children wiped out by a car, a fake ‘funeral’ for speeding motorists and a film released by police […]

Spanish road death figures flat in 2014

Spanish road death figures flat in 2014

Deaths on Spanish roads declined by just 3 in 2014, with 1131 deaths compared to 1134 in 2013. The government pointed to several explanations for the slow-down in progress including a rise in distracted driving with more people using applications such as Whatsapp at the wheel. An ageing fleet, linked to Spain’s ongoing economic woes, was also blamed. Jesus Monclús, director of ETSC member Fundación Mapfre told the El País newspaper that some measures “lose effectiveness over time” such as the penalty points system introduced […]

France announces new road safety measures as deaths rise

France announces new road safety measures as deaths rise

The French government has announced more than twenty new road safety measures following the first national rise in road deaths in over a decade. The number of deaths on French roads rose by 3.7 percent – to a total of 3,388 people – in 2014, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry. Vulnerable road users were disproportionately affected with pedestrian deaths rising by 8 percent and cyclists by 7 percent. The measures announced include a plan to reduce the speed limit on some […]

7 October 2014 – Distracted Driving, Helsinki

7 October 2014 – Distracted Driving, Helsinki

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Runeberginkatu 2, Helsinki 9:00 – 13:00, 7 October 2014 The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and Liikenneturva (the Finnish Road Safety Council) held a conference on distracted driving on 7 October 2014. Download the agenda. Presentations 1. PIN Overview – ETSC 2. Distracted Driving – ITS Leeds 3. Drivers’ need for information and the problem of distraction – VTT 4. Distracted Driving in Italy – Fondazione Ania 5. Distracted Driving in Finland – Liikenneturva [<a href=”//storify.com/etsc_eu/etsc-liikenneturva-distracted-driving-conference-h” target=”_blank”>View the story “ETSC / […]

A third of young drivers admit taking ‘selfies’ at the wheel

A third of young drivers admit taking ‘selfies’ at the wheel

Research by Ford carried out in seven EU countries has found that young British drivers are the most likely to take a ‘selfie’ while driving. According to the survey, British drivers were the most likely to photograph themselves while on the move (33 per cent), ahead of counterparts in Germany (28 per cent), France (28 per cent), Romania (27 per cent), Italy (26 per cent), Spain (18 per cent), and Belgium (17 per cent). The survey of 7,000 smartphone users aged 18-24 from across […]

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