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Distracted driving is an issue that continues to hurt drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders across the country.

The risks continue to increase as the number of smartphone users increases, but instead of demanding drivers to take action and do changes to their routines so they are not distracted any longer, many safety advocates have begun to focus on what the technology and automotive industries have been doing to change the environment and make sure the issues are addressed.

As the country discusses the implementation of autonomous technology, experts discuss the importance of the development of technologies that are designed to boost safety and put an end to distracted driving.

According to some experts in the field, there has been an uptick in patents associated with car safety and autonomous technologies issued recently by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Several companies have been focusing on developing these types of technologies in order to ensure the next generation of vehicles is fitted with some of the features that will not only address distracted driving, but will also focus on putting an end to auto crashes as a whole. Experts say the number of companies working on these technologies has increased so drastically that now, all that it will take to allow the industry to develop even further is to make sure regulatory agencies are on top of the changes. Until regulations are drawn and automakers and tech developers understand the rules, consumers will not have access to the innovations.

In the United States, 3,328 people died in 2012 in auto accidents caused by distracted driving. While this number does not mean much to common drivers, it’s in the best interest of automakers to make sure that the technologies are safe and widely available. Once the self-driving revolution is here, it will be hard to stray away from it, but until then, drivers must be safe.

As the number of people injured in distracted driving accidents increases dramatically, companies work to develop better ways to fight the problem. Until the issues are fully addressed with the autonomous technology, drivers must keep in mind that they too hold responsibility over their decisions, especially those made behind the wheel.

Accidents caused by drivers who are not focused on the road often lead to deadly consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 800,000 vehicles during daytime hours being operated by drivers who are simply too distracted to avoid accidents at any given time. This type of statistics helps us to understand just how beneficial it would be to take the driver out of the equation.

Some of the most common factors associated with distracted driving accidents include visual distractions, which are mostly associated with drivers taking their eyes off the road. But manual distraction and cognitive distraction are also important issues. When a driver lets go of the wheel to handle electronics or other items, that counts as manual distractions. When the driver’s mind is elsewhere, however, experts call this type of distraction a cognitive distraction. That may happen even if the motorist is not using any external device while operating his or her vehicle.

Until technologies that protect drivers from distracted driving are widely available, consumers should focus on driving and leave all other activities for another time.

 

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