Toyota presented its new TeenDrive365 distracted driving simulator using the virtual reality device at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Participants were placed behind the wheel of a stationary vehicle, fitted with the lightweight Oculus headset, and then whisked away to a virtual city street.
The driver must then traverse the hazards of in-town driving with additional interference from passengers, cell phone notifications, and the radio. As their driving suffers from the diversions, they will face the ramifications of distracted driving from the safety of a virtual setting.
Marketing executives at Toyota want to use the technology to demonstrate to teen drivers and their parents the impact of distractions and the devastating effects they can have on a motorist’s ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving occurs anytime a motorist’s attention is diverted away from driving by any other activity. Distractions can include cell phone use, eating, the radio, conversing with passengers, or a variety of distractions from outside the vehicle.
Distracted driving occurs commonly in everyday driving and in crashes, injuring over 400,000 people every year. In fact, most drivers report sometimes engaging in some form of distracted driving. The study’s observations revealed that drivers engaged in a secondary task up to one-half of the time while driving, and 34% of drivers self-reported using a cell phone for talking or texting while driving on a somewhat regular basis. It is estimated that a driver must take his or her eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds to read a text message- at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 10% of all fatal crashes in 2012 and approximately 18% of accidents resulting in injuries, involved at least one distracted driver. A similar, but more detailed research conducted in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Casualty Study revealed that in crashes where the driver was cited as the critical reason for the crash, 18% involved distraction.
Collectively, this data indicates that drivers were distracted in 15-30% of crashes at all levels, insignificant to fatal, although the distraction may not necessarily have been a contributing factor in the crash.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
Denver car accident lawyer Robert Paysinger wants everyone in Colorado to drive safely and buckle up. Yet other drivers may not drive as safely as you do – and as a result, accidents can still happen. If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident in Denver or anywhere in the State of Colorado, we can help. Contact Denver attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.
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