Distracted Driving Kills People; and Parents and Employers need to do something about it.
Using cell phones while driving is a leading cause of accidents. The US Dept of Transportation reports almost 6,000 people died and about 515,000 were injured during 2008 in crashes associated with distracted driving.
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Earlier this year the US Transportation Department presented a proposal to forbid text messaging at the wheel by cross-state truck and bus drivers. This regulatory action follows up on Transportation Department public service program to mitigate distractions that lead to accidents.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) states that driver inattention is a leading factor in many crashes, and cell phone calls and sending text messages are leading causes of driver distractions. The GHSA reports that currently 20 states and the District of Columbia prohibit all drivers from sending text messages while driving. The GHSA says it supports texting bans for all drivers, but has doubts about enforcement.
An interesting solution Phone Beagle Cell Phone Monitoring is doing something about it. Their software installs on Android and BlackBerry smartphones and monitors GPS location, and Text Messages, Website Visit History along with other phone log activity and Distracted Driver Alert.
The trucking and passenger bus industries support the text message ban, and many companies have enforced policies prohibiting texting when behind the wheel. Without question there are many distractions which may prevent a driver focusing on driving: changing the radio or a putting in tape or CD, talking to passengers, observing an event outside the vehicle, and of course, using cellphones and texting. Navigational and other interactive devices also distract drivers.
GPS Tracking is a key component to the Distracted Driving Solution. Mobile communications means more than just placing a phone call while moving. The newest mobile phones have GPS locator functionality to track phone location. These features, and others such as text messaging, web access and the ability to utilize other software make mobile phones great gadgets.
Mobile phone GPS is what people usually think of when looking at tracking mobile phones. GPS (Global Positioning System) using satellites is the most well known and more accurate means of tracking. However GPS requires satellites to be in direct line of site of the handset. It doesn’t work as well indoors or in crowded cities.|Sometimes heavy cloud cover and dense trees interferes with reception.
Choosing real-time or periodic sampling affects both the resolution of determining position as well as how long the battery will last. GPS receivers, whether in a smartphone, or a dedicated GPS tracking device, compute position by precisely timing the signals sent by GPS satellites. This data includes the time the message was transmitted, precise orbital information (the ephemeris), and the general system health and estimated orbits of all GPS satellites (the almanac).
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