Distracted driving and cell phones

Friday, April 30, 2010 | 11:18 AM

"Distracted driving" is when you drive while taking your hands off the steering wheel, your eyes off the road, or your mind off of driving. Whether you are eating while driving or using your cell phone while driving, distracted driving increases your chances of getting into a serious accident. Today, organizations throughout the US are collaborating to raise the awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Read more about what the Google Maps team is doing with the Oprah Winfrey Show.

With the exception of Google Maps Navigation, which is designed for hands-free use with a car dock, Google Mobile products are not intended to be used while you are driving. Hand your phone to a passenger or park your car in a safe place if you need to search for a restaurant or check your email while behind the wheel.

For more information about distracted driving and how you can help prevent it, please visit www.distracteddriving.gov. And if you're in the US and have an iPhone, Palm Pre, or Android-powered device, you can go to Google.com in your browser today to see our mobile doodle. Do not do this while you are driving, of course.

12 comments:

BobB said...

Until the Bluetooth dialing feature is fixed you can't even place phone calls without being "distracted" using an Android device.

Greg K. said...

Yes. You're right, Google. So now put your money (and maps) where your mouth is and make the Google Maps Navigation app avail on ALL platforms.

Don't, as happened in last week's leak and then denial of GMN's iPhone version, keep it to yourself as an enticement to move to Android. Some of us can't change platforms, but would love a quality phone-based GPS.

Sure Apple may reject it, but at least submit the blasted thing.

G D H said...

...yet they have all these voice search and voice controls for android devices. So what's that for ? when you are too lazy to type ?

Martin said...

Don't forget, studies have proven that hands free is no safer than talking with a phone in your hand. It makes no difference. Maybe Oprah should spend more time worrying about real issues instead of this.

BobB said...

I don' have any idea what Oprah has to do with this. I should be able to place a call without looking at or touching my phone. Just like I used to be able to for years with my "dumb" phone.

Melvyn said...

We don't need more laws when you can get tickets for reckless and careless driving. Cell phone use isn't even the number one distraction, rubbernecking, eating, kids, reaching for something, radio all surpass it.

How about taxing Oprah's carbon footprint or issuing fines when your carbon output is that of a small town. Easy for her to tell us how to live.

EOU said...

Most of the accidents that I know off have been with teens. And we cannot say that is because they are the only ones doing it. people who work in offices do it all the time, except they may not text, maybe just email. But the accidents have been a lot more just recently; TTWD; Teen Texting While Driving.

I think this should be focused more to teens. People who have been driving for more than 5 years know the danger of being distracted while driving. Not to mention that no one can help being distracted while doing anything; studying, working, or driving. Our subconscious takes over to do little things we do not need total focus on.

xhozt said...

GMN on windows mobile NOW .. otherwise dont post about gmm not being used while driving again . ...

Erik Neu said...

There are some great technology solutions on Android for preventing texting while driving. There are 4 that I know of (iZup, ZoomSafer, Textecution) that use the GPS to prevent texting when going over 10 mph. I would really like to see Google and the carriers push this harder. I actually think it could be the cornerstone of a carrier or phone differentiation marketing campaign (just like Motorola with the Droid, it doesn't actually have to be a unique differentiator, the public will tune in to whatever is advertised as having that new, nifty parental anti-texting technology).

ooofest said...

Any discussion of advances in safety on mobiles while driving MUST include Google's OS update to allow for BlueTooth-initiated voice dialing with Android phones, I'm afraid.

Even at a light, making me take my eyes away from the phone in order to touch the screen for initiating a call is not only unacceptable, but I can get a ticket for doing so.

My old LG flip-phone could dial from a quick tap on my my BlueTooth headset and speaking "call XYZ" from the phonebook (or, providing the actual phone numerals. Android phones apparently cannot do this due to a limitation in Google's OS, according to Verizon - so, I'm still on the fence as to whether my Droid Incredible is viable for basic mobile needs vs. their non-Android phones. As much as I enjoy other features of the Incredible, this basic function is one of the few show-stoppers for me.

ooofest said...

Whoops - typo above.

". . . take my eyes away from the phone . . ."

should have been

". . . take my eyes away from the road for the phone . . ."

Erik Neu said...

ooofest's comment is a really good one...the speech recognition seems really awful for contacts, too. So bad I have given up on it. A really good solution is to have every contact assigned a number...if you can voice dial by saying "Call Contact 0-4-7" speech recognition should stand a *much* better chance.