Technology Trips Up Drivers

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2001-02-05

Im a big fan of Hertzs NeverLost GPS-based navigational system, as Im so often in strange cities trying to drive to places Ive never been before. Its accurate, it automatically recalculates my route when I miss an exit, and, best of all, the output is oral, so I dont have to look away from the road to see where I should be going.

Keeping distractions to a minimum is going to be a bigger problem as embedded technological systems become more common in our cars, homes, clothing and bodies. This is particularly true for young drivers, who are less experienced at handling cars safely in difficult conditions.

Preliminary reports from a U.S. Department of Transportation study at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., show that a significantly large number of people (one in six drivers) missed an oncoming turnoff when faced with too many inputs from a cellular phone, in-car navigational system, collision-warning system and in-dash computer screen.

Keeping your eyes on the road and your mind on the task at hand means IT needs to be more aware of how our technology gets used out of the office.

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