Safety Campaigns & Public Education

Discussion Areas
Experience with Technology
Cell Phones
Navigation Systems
Night Vision
Wireless Internet
Info And Entertainment
Technical Issues
Benefits And Risk
Measuring Distraction
Design Features
Safety Campaigns
Index Of Papers
Ask The Expert
Take the Polls
Other Resources
Public Meeting
Papers, polls, Q&A items, and comments on this page are oriented to topics and issues associated with safety campaigns and public education regarding the safe use of in-vehicle technologies. Feel free to post comments on issues outlined below, or in response to papers, polls, and/or questions submitted to our expert panel. A moderator has been assigned to periodically synthesize comments, keep discussions focused and moving, emphasize key points, and offer additional insights into related issues.


Safety Campaigns

  • What information should be provided in public service announcements and how effective will it be? Who are the target drivers and how can they be reached?
  • What information does the public need, as drivers or as consumers of technology products?
  • How effective is the provision of safety tips? Do we understand the problem well enough to provide good tips?
Public Education
  • Is there a “learning curve” that makes the distraction risk particularly great for novice users of a technology or a specific product? Is there some way that training or practice could be introduced to minimize this?
  • Is there a need to introduce driver distraction/technology use into driver education curricula? Do novice drivers potentially have greater distraction problems and can training help with this?


Content Available In Each Topic Area


  Ask the Expert  



Safety Campaigns
   Have you changed how you use your cell phone in your vehicle because of a safety tip you saw or heard?   

comments   Driver Education: the secret to safer highways.   7/18/00 10:16:08 PM

comments   Reply and Question to Education Advocates   7/19/00 12:26:56 PM

comments   Safety campaigns will only go so far   7/19/00 3:29:19 PM

comments   Increased Awareness of the Need for Safety   7/20/00 5:38:58 PM

comments   Appreciating the Privilege of Driving   7/20/00 9:57:10 PM

comments   Educator's response to Joan Harris, Moderator   7/24/00 10:09:27 PM
Dan   Keegan

Refering to: Reply and Question to Education Advocates

I agree with Isaac Rose that education is important, especially supported by enforcement and engineering. However, I believe there is a major problem with training and education as they are now deployed. No matter what technologies are available to drivers, or how the technologies are managed, the responsibility is still on the driver to allocate attention effectively. Driver training and education programs, as we know them today are, I believe, inadequate in preparing individuals for this part of the driving task for two reasons: they're focused on basic preparation for a license test; and the philosophy behind training and education is flawed. The flaw lies in the fact that the entire structure is developed around the concept of accident reduction -- teaching drivers not to crash! Apart from the problem that this is a near impossible task, given the psychology of driving safety and the limited training time most beginners get, it cuts off the prospect for the development of more sophisticated content. Consequently, driver education has not developed over the years as a resource for the experienced driver. The public think of follow-up training/education in terms of "refresher" courses which "remind" them of what they learned as beginners. There is nothing out there to convince them differently, and the barrage of simplistic public safety awareness information (slow down, signal your turns, don't tailgate, etc.) reinforces this thinking. A driver who is using a cell phone or checking information on a screen on the dash will probably slow or otherwise try to reduce demand from the traffic environment. But the comfort level drivers achieve in this way likely takes into account only a low-level relationship with the driving environment. For some drivers, simply not crashing is proof enough that they are doing OK! More sophisticated drivers would likely reduce the load even more in a given situation, or even pull out of traffic altogether. This decision would be based on an enhanced perception of performance and traffic dynamics. In other words, being more critical of their own driving, drivers would notice their drop in performance and adjust accordingly. If they do this it will be because they are more perceptive about what is going on around them, have a better understanding of traffic dynamics, and are aware how much their performance drops off if they don't moderate their taskload. The above is not an argument that public awareness messages and driver education programs don't work. It's an argument that the producion of more sophisticated drivers through training and education can have many benefits, including safer use of new technologies in the vehicle without resorting to draconian laws. Dan Keegan, Drivers.com

comments   I agree with Mark Renn   7/26/00 4:38:21 PM
Public Education
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