Everyone agrees that distracted driving is bad. And the most common distraction just might be your phone. Every year in the U.S., almost a half million people are injured or killed in traffic accidents attributed to the combination of texting and driving. The U.S. has the unwanted lead in this problem, far exceeding similar accidents in other countries around the world. An astounding 69% of drivers (aged 18-64) in the U.S. admitted to using their cell phone while driving during the previous month. Compare this to a European low of 29% in the United Kingdom or 59% in Portugal.
Due to the obvious dangers, inherent in texting or email messaging while driving, several industry responses have been initiated in recent years. Hand-free cell phones, the Bluetooth models, and other devices have been re-engineered for safer use by drivers. Voice activated apps are now available that allow messaging without needing to hold the phone or manually text the message.
"Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode
The next version of Apple iOS features something called driving mode. Your phone will know you are driving, and refrain from showing notifications until you've stopped. KNPO started to develop such program 2 years ago but stopped due to problems finding a sponsor. We are now happy that Apple continued and did finish our concept as well as making it a standard, Bravo Apple.
Safety Beacon, A Smarter Feature
Last year KNPO developed an app called BLINK, for smartphones that uses the flash and screen of the smartphone to emit a flashing light on both sides of the phone, as a beacon in the dark while you’re jogging. The sequence of light is not disturbing, nor drains the batteries more than any other application.
By using the BLINK App when walking or jogging in the evening, you will be seen at five times further away than without, giving drivers crucial time to stop or swerve around. Today BLINK is available for Android and iOS.
Apple is expected to launch the new Apple Watch operating system called watchOS 4 later this year with a similar function to KNPO's BLINK, “a new blinking light activated via Control Centre - useful for safety on night runs”.
DOWNLOAD YOUR BLINK APP HERE:
A report released today by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic jumped 11 percent last year, to nearly 6,000. That's the biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever, and the highest number in more than two decades.
Drivers distracted by their devices are a well-documented, rising cause of traffic crashes, but there are a growing number of pedestrians, too, who can become oblivious to traffic around them.