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Safety Standards for cars with distracted drivers

Ok - I think this discussion now needs to be safety standards for cars with distracted drivers. We’ve got beepers to warn people who are behind cars and to keep us from running over the kids bikes - why not a different sound for when you get too close to the car in front of you - like 3 car lengths. And, if you’re swerving into the next lane, maybe you can get a shock through the steering wheel - assuming you’ve got a body part touching it. These safety items could also curb these aggressive - road rage drivers as well.

I think Mercedes already has these features on some of its newest models. Personally, I can’t afford a Mercedes, so I will choose to pay attention and drive like a sane person instead.

Neither can I, but I wish there were products you could add to your car for these. Those GPS trackers aren’t that expensive, so these add-ons shouldn’t be too much! Its a miracle my teenager can drive to school without responding to a text. Doesn’t do it while I’m in the car - but know responses are made while driving without me.

I think many of the high end cars including Lexus also have these systems, but like Whitey I guess I’ll just have to pay attention to my driving instead. They’re all out of my budget.

Or, one could get a Lotus. It’s impossible to not pay attention in an Elise!

I think add-ons are better than designing a car around relatively simple warning systems. There is so much to pay attention to in a car these days. I am a safe driver, but see mom’s with kids in back, texting and sipping on a soda. And, I don’t see how anti-texting laws can be enforced. How can you see what someone is doing on their lap? I see folks swerving and driving erratically because they’re momentarily distracted. But, I see it a lot more these days than I ever did in the past.

I agree with you Whitey. Personally, I can live without those extra bells and whistles. All you need to do is drive safely and pay attention to the road and other surroundings nearby.

Eye tracking.

Car blares an air horn in the passenger compartment if your eyes leave the road for more than 2 seconds.

Finally someone who understands! And, can appreciate the humor in developing some of these deterrence devices!

Cops, ambulances, and fire trucks should have signals that jam cell phones and radios for 500 yds in front of them so people notice their sirens. Haha, tongue-in-cheek, but it really burns my butt when people blissfully ignore sirens, etc.

Cell phone jammers are available outside of the US; are illegal in the US.

I can see it now, “It was not MY fault I rear ended you, my distance beeper did not go off”

Sure, and we can have Toyota design the braking feature that goes with the distance beeper. (Just kidding) Seriously, with all the stuff we think we can do while driving, its amazing that more people aren’t killed. Driving to work today I saw a man with a book on his steering wheel! And, a cell phone in one hand.

I’m actually all for robotic cars that can drive the highways for us! But, its doubtful we’ll see that in my lifetime.

Many cities have vehicles that you don’t have to drive. They are called buses and trains.

True - but not in the last 2 communities I’ve lived in. If we could somehow manage to make cars operate like a train, but be able to disengage and be operated by a solo driver that would be cool and resolve a lot of these distraction issues. But I digress.

I give it about 15~20 years before it’s standard

Wow! I haven’t even heard of any systems like that being developed and I watch the car trends pretty closely. But, lets push for that! Make life easier for the burbs…

Several luxury cars already have adaptive cruise control. They use a laser transmitter and detector to sense when you are catching up to slower traffic. The computer backs off on the throttle until you match speed with the car ahead. Mercedes wants to extend this to bring your car to a complete stop if necessary.

A couple of years ago, Infiniti had what they called “lane departure warning”. If real time computer analysis of the image from a forward looking video camera suggested that you were drifting out of your lane, the car sounded a warning. They have now extended this so that the computer guides you back into the middle of your lane.

Canada had a pilot project in the Ottawa area that combined GPS with a database of speed limits to program a governor with the speed limit for the road on which you were driving.

DARPA has a recurring contest for vehicles that can complete an off road course without human assistance. One finally made it.

A few months ago, some Google people “designed” an automobile. The result was a small living room on wheels with access to phone, high speed wireless internet, satellite radio and television. “Driving” consisted of entering the address of your destination into the navigation system.

Personally, I have little use for such gadgets. In my opinion, skillful driving is its own reward. Passengers belong on buses, trains and taxis.

I saw an older program on the DARPA contest. It was interesting, but they were using unmanned vehicles. I like driving, but most people I see on the highways are doing so many other things - eating, talking on cell phones, even saw a guy reading a book and another watching a video. In these days of so much information and things to do, it seems that being a good driver is becoming a second class citizen position.

Next step would be warning devices that you driving does not meet optimum fuel efficiency. May be all these warning devices could activate a loud irritating voice that would yell out the warning and then call you names and lecture you to boot.

This has been an interesting conversation! Hope some of these inventions can be used to make the roads safer & more efficient.