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A recent survey of young drivers in Great Britain came up
with some frightening findings for young drivers. Ingenie, a company that
provides insurance to young drivers surveyed one thousand drivers between the
ages of 17 to 25 about their driving habits. While the survey looked at young
British drivers, the results are probably very close to what would be
experienced by American drivers in the same age group.
Here are some of the findings from the survey:
- 44% said they had sent a text message, and 62% said they
had read a message while they were driving
- 1 in 6 male drivers under 25 have crashed due to cell phone usage at the wheel
- One third of under 25s who use Facebook on their phone admitted to using it
- 18% of under 25s who have Draw Something on their phone have played the game
while driving – 17% for Angry Birds
- Hands-free cell phones encourage 53% more young drivers to make longer calls
at the wheel (longer than 5 minutes)
The results of the survey show that, in spite of all the
efforts to get out the word on the dangers of distracted driving
, young drivers
continue to believe that they are immune from danger. The dangers of texting
have been known for years however not a lot of attention has been given to the
fact that young drivers may be playing games while they drive.
The gaming app "Draw Something" is a social gaming app for
two players. It requires the drawer to draw a picture based on random words
selected by the computer. The words are ranked on the level of difficulty based
on the drawing required to convey that word. As the drawer draws a picture, the
guesser is shown the picture as it is created, stroke by stroke. The faster the
guesser can guess the word, the more points are won. Any person trying to play
this game while driving may as well place a hood over their head.
Driving requires three separate skill sets:
Visual – watching the road ahead and behind to
steer and avoid hazards,
Mechanical – using the hands and feet to steer
and operate the pedals, and
Cognitive – using the mind to interpret all the
data that is being seen and experienced to navigate and avoid hazards.
Playing games on a smart phone requires the exact same three
skill sets. The brain is only capable of doing one thing well at a time so,
when those skill sets are being used for a frivolous game, they can’t be used
for the concentration required in the life threatening driving environment. The
same goes for texting or staying connected through Facebook.
There are apps that can be beneficial to young drivers.
Parents of young drivers should seriously consider any one of a number of apps
installed in the vehicle that disables their teen’s phone for
anything other than 911 calls.
Labels: android apps, dangers of distracted driving, distracted driving, driving skills, iphone apps, texting and driving