Statistics indicate nine Americans will likely die today and another 100 will be injured because of distracted drivers.
Fortunately, safety advocates are working to change that.
DriveWell, a new app launched earlier this year, is aimed at helping drivers focus on just driving.
“The system automatically measures driving performance and then rates it against metrics that we have developed that are highly correlated with crashes,” says Hari Balakrishnan of Cambridge Mobile Telematics.
Balakrishnan developed the DriveWell app with backing from the insurance industry.
Safety advocates are grateful for advancements like the app, and for all the attention distracted driving is getting.
“We know that nine percent of all fatalities on the roadway are the result of people just not paying attention, so we want people just to drive,” says Nick Smith, president of the National Safety Council.
“Just Drive” is the slogan the National Safety Council has adopted for its distracted driving awareness campaign this month.
“We just need people focused on the job at hand, which is looking straight ahead and putting their hands on the wheel and just driving,” Smith says.
He urges drivers to avoid the biggest culprits, texting or talking on cell phones, as well as anything to do with dashboard touchscreens. Smith even suggests curtailing conversation with others in the car.
“It’s anything that is taking people’s eyes off the road, or distracting them mentally,” he says.