Life is both short and fragile. These are two truths that everyone knows, but we rarely stop to appreciate what they mean. It often takes a story of tragedy to truly understand how the decisions we make each day could end our lives decades too soon.
One look around the streets of New York City is all it takes to realize that distracted drivers are an accident waiting to happen. Whether they’re texting, talking on a cellphone or trying to program a GPS device, drivers who aren’t focused on the road put themselves and others at significant risk for a distracted driving accident.
The New York State Department of Financial Services has just approved a voluntary program through the insurance company Esurance that allows parents to block certain types of cellphone use when a car is in motion. The program, called “DriveSafe,” gives policyholders of the Allstate subsidiary to install a free device on the cars their teen drivers use. When a corresponding app is installed on the teen’s phone, the device communicates with the phone, blocking its use for certain purposes. It can also monitor teens’ driving behavior.
An analysis of U.S. traffic fatalities reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that was just published by researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center revealed an alarming trend. While traffic fatalities overall have generally declined, fatal accidents involving both bicyclists and pedestrians are actually on the increase.