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Don’t Stream and Drive

Research shows that SMS text messaging while driving is down. However, streaming and recording video behind the wheel is way up. Data use on a mobile device includes FaceTime, Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

Troubling incidents of watching and recording video while driving are becoming too common. Recently, a teen live streamed a video of herself driving, crashed, and kept recording while her 14-year-old sister died in the passenger seat. In addition, a Georgia Representative live streamed a video of a new highway project while driving just months after Georgia passed the Hands-Free Law.

“It’s almost as if motorists feel safer streaming video behind the wheel than texting because they aren’t physically doing something with their hands while driving,” said Tiffany Wright, President of AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety. “That notion is completely ridiculous. Our foundation has conducted studies on the impact of not having your eyes and mind on the road, even when your hands are on the wheel, and the results are alarming.”

The AAA study found that even with hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, cognitive distraction is a major factor that affects:

  • Suppressed brain activity in the areas needed for safe driving.
  • Increased reaction time (to peripheral detection test and lead vehicle braking).
  • Missed cues and decreased accuracy (to peripheral detection test).
  • Decreased visual scanning of the driving environment (tunnel vision, of sorts).

          — Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas Traffic Safety Foundation President

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