This Week In Traffic Safety: September 3, 2013

If the economy is getting better, why are people driving less?

Despite evidence of a recovering U.S economy, vehicle-in-use rates have continued to fall since 2008, after peaking in 2007. An independent study by Transportation Department economists Don Pickrell and David Pace also found that miles-driven-per-month among  individual drivers has steadily declined since 2004 and a smaller percentage of people under 40 have a driver’s licenses than did in the 1990s. Potential causes for the decline include continued economic challenges, the rising popularity of commuter biking and public transportation, and baby-boomer retirement. Full Article Here Source: Associated Press

This nonprofit wants to change your minds about distracted driving

A panel at the recent Governors Highway Safety Association conference urged officials to peruse educational campaigns instead of mobile access-regulations in the effort to curb distracted driving. Experts argued technologies capable of barring drivers from Texting While Driving (TWD) do not impact overall distracted behavior. The solution, they say, involves creating social taboo around behind-the-wheel-cell-use. That kind of effort, realistically, could face the same uphill battle that widespread seatbelt adoption did in the ’80s. Full Article Here Source: Huffington Post

The most dangerous place to drive

Our nation’s capital is home to countless agencies and organizations devoted to traffic safety. It’s also the most dangerous place to drive. According to Allstate’s America’s Best Driver Report, D.C. drivers get into accidents twice as often as the national average. Other cities with dangerous driving records include Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia. Fort Collins, Colorado ranked the safest. Full Article Here Source: Washington Post

Forget Google. This open-source project says they can make “driverless” electric vehicles for cheap

The Elcano project – a collaborative effort between students at University of Washington and their professor, DR. Tyler Folsom, a former NASA engineer – is working on a customizable circuit board that promises to transform any vehicle into a fully-autonomous car.  The project also claims the innovative circut boards will allow vehicles to run on electricity and get up to 1,000 miles per gallon (mpg). Unlike the Google car, whose stripped down-version is expected to carry a $150,000 price tag, the Elcano technology could remake vehicles for just $4,000 to $15,000. The open-source project, which has been in the works since 2007, currently seeks crowd funding as a finalist in Popular Science‘s #CrowdGrant Challenge. Full Article Here Source: Popular Science

A critical piece of driverless technology could get approval by 2014

As early as the end of this year, The Department of Transportation (DOT) will decide whether to approve Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) – which alerts drivers of oncoming danger – in light-duty cars. The DOT’s DSRC-testing program — which runs in Ann Arbor, Michigan through a partnership with the auto-maker collaborative, Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership — has received approval from The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) to continue for the next six months. Full Article Here Source: Automotive News
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Author: Dana Henry

Dana Henry is a Content Strategist for Traffic Safety Store. After years working as a reporter and editor for print and online publications, Dana has developed her focus on emerging technology and innovation. She resides in Philadelphia and is an avid cyclist.

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