Driving While Distracted: Can technology stop the problem it caused?

Updated 9:00 PM ET, Thu August 4, 2016

Original Article Published on CNN.com


(CNN) Driving while socially distracted is one of the most life threatening issues about our relationship to technology, and yet, in an ironic twist, the very thing that caused the problem may be the ultimate solution.

A number of technologies have been developed to try to eliminate potential distractions from our smartphones. And drivers, at least according to a recent survey, seem receptive to the idea.
In the survey sponsored by the National Safety Council, 2,400 drivers from across the country were asked what they would do if their car or mobile device came pre-set with technological solutions to block some outgoing and incoming communications distractions. Fifty-five percent of drivers said they would leave those technologies (PDF) in place to avoid being distracted. Only 23% of drivers said they would deactivate the technologies.

‘A disease and a vaccine’

“It’s the perfect problem for a technological solution,” said former space engineer and serial entrepreneur Scott Tibbitts of Boulder, Colorado. “It’s like a disease and a vaccine.”
Tibbitts is on a mission to try to bring an end to distracted driving. In 2008, after arriving for a business meeting, he learned that the person he was to meet with, the vice president of an engineering company, a husband and father of two, had been killed only hours earlier by a driver who was allegedly texting.