MACGREGOR 'GOYA' EDDY 1:26 p.m. PT April 27, 2017
Motorists with handheld smart phones use them in 88 of every 100 trips, according to data released April 17 by Zendrive, a company that monitors driving behavior using sensors within the smart phone.
Previous, and much lower, estimates of distracted driving behavior were based on self-reporting. The data show that, on average, drivers spend 3.5 minutes of every hour manipulating their devices by hand. The study did not include hands-free activity, just using the smart phone manually.
The data was collected during 10 billion miles driven by 5 million motorists, the largest study ever done. Previous research has indicated that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds increases the likelihood of a collision by 24 times. (For details of the study see blog.zendrive.com)
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Traffic collision deaths have risen sharply the past two years. The National Safely Council states that in a covering 2015-16, the increase in traffic collision deaths in the United States is the largest two-year jump in 50 years. With the use of seat belts and airbags, the mortality (death) rate of traffic collisions had been decreasing until the past few years, when this 14% jump occurred. The rapid increase of handheld devices while driving is one possible factor in the rising collision fatalities.
Which brings us to a reminder: You can text on a bus or train. The promoters of public transit are missing an educational opportunity to point out that you can text and use apps safely on a bus or a train. A lot of money is being spent on advertisements urging people not to text and drive, but I have not seen any linked to transit use.
When I suggest that people take the bus or try the train, most people say, Yes, Goya, but it takes longer. What do we do with extra time that is saved by taking the car? If texting, answering emails or using an app is one thing you do with your time (and research shows that for most of us that is true) then you can do that safely on the bus or train. Time stuck in traffic driving for hours feels wasted, so it is tempting to use the smart phone. I understand the temptation. I enjoy doing chess puzzles on my Android phone and, at bus stops, my time goes quickly.
Monday, 3 p.m., The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) Rail Policy Committee will meet at 55 Plaza Circle Salinas. http://www.tamcmonterey.org or call 775-0903.
Boronda Road widening
Wednesday, 6 p.m., McKinnon Elementary School, 2100 McKinnon St. Salinas city public works will hold a meeting about the widening of Boronda Road. Call Frank Aguayo at 758-7427 for details.
Wednesday, 6 p.m., The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee, 1 Sylvan Park, Sand City. May is Bike Month and for a list of county bicycle activities see http://www.tamcmonterey.org or call 775-0903 or email: email@example.com.
May 7, 7 a.m., Salinas Criterium street bike race for cash prizes. Course is flat, five-corners (all left), corner of Moffett Street and La Guardia Street, Salinas, near the Airport. Registration: http://www.BikeReg.com ($10). Info at http://www.pedalialpini.org/
May 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Natividad Creek Park: Take it Outside Salinas. Free helmets for children and a fun bike rodeo, music, games and a human chess game. See http://www.facebook.com/takeitoutsidesalinas
Send comments or questions to MacGregor Eddy (Goya) at firstname.lastname@example.org
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New data show most drivers use handheld devices - The Salinas Californian