BMW drives home texting & driving threat

BMW has made good on its promise to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that'll help get out the word about the dangers of distracted driving. Below find one of the distracted driving video PSAs created by BMW as part of its campaign "Don't TXT & Drive -- When the Engine Starts the Texting Stops." The German automaker and Department of Transportation chief Ray LaHood made nice in December, as concerns were mounting over interactive communications systems being placed in vehicles. The latest "Don't TXT & Drive" campaign grew out of that meeting. LaHood, meanwhile, gave the Wall Street … [Read more...]

Multimedia cars on parade at CES

This year's CES confirmed that automakers are indeed quickening the pace toward making their vehicles hubs of electronic information and entertainment. "Connected vehicle" systems and safe-driving technologies co-existed and co-mingled at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Toyota and Hyundai unveiled new wireless communications and data systems for their vehicles, while GM's popular OnStar service announced it was expanding into other carmakers' vehicles. Ford rolled out its first electric car, with "wireless connected vehicle services" designed by partner Airbiquity. “The … [Read more...]

Digital dashboards & distracted driving news

Digital dashboards:A Louisiana legislator seeks to rewrite the state's law regarding drivers and video screens. HB 387 would allow use of split-screen in-dash monitors, found in a few vehicles such as those in the Mercedes S-Class (SplitView). These dashboard screens allow front passengers to watch movies or television while the driver sees only navigational elements. “Connected vehicle” systems and safe-driving technologies co-existed and co-mingled at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Toyota and Hyundai unveiled new wireless communications and data systems for their … [Read more...]

Texting banned for truckers, bus drivers

Truckers and bus drivers have been barred from text messaging on the job, following announcement of a federal ban on the practice. "We know that a commercial truck or bus driven by someone texting is a lethal weapon," says U.S. Transportation chief Ray LaHood. The ban -- which includes the use of handheld cell phones for texting -- officially comes from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It applies to interstate truck drivers and commercial bus or van drivers who carry more than eight passengers. Penalties for texting and driving for truckers will be up to $2,750. Hood, who … [Read more...]

Trucks, texting a deadly mix

A study of professional truckers indicates that even pros are severely handicapped while text messaging behind the wheel. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's study found that the truckers were 23 times more likely to get in a wreck while texting. The researchers placed video cameras in the cabs of long-haul trucks over a year and a half period. About 100 truck drivers participated. In the collisions recorded by the cameras, drivers typically looked at their text messaging devices for five seconds before the accident, the New York Times said in reporting on the Virginia Tech texting … [Read more...]