Technology to Detect Texting While Driving
October 2, 2017
Distracted drivers, specifically those that engage in cell phone usage and texting while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, are responsible for close to two million car accidents each year. According to the National Safety Council, 330,000 people were injured and close to 3,000 people were fatally injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2013. Serious and fatal car accidents related to distracted drivers now surpass those caused by drunk drivers.
Engineering researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada are working to develop technology aimed at reducing the alarming number of serious and fatal car accidents caused by texting and cell phone usage. By establishing a unique set of computer algorithms, the team of engineers at the University are using cameras and artificial intelligence to detect body positioning and hand movements related to texting. The system then grades the level of distraction and alerts the driver when their attention is compromised and when they’re likely to result in an accident.
The engineers are also developing the technology to operate with self-driving car features that can take control of the vehicle when it determines that the driver is distracted and presenting a danger. The algorithms were developed to recognize driver activities, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, or even reaching into the back of the car. When the level of distraction reaches a dangerous level, the system becomes proactive, employing programmed safety features designed to prevent a crash.
This new technology comes on the heels of previous research conducted at the University of Waterloo that measured a driver’s rate of blinking to determine driver fatigue. Data on head and face positioning, combined with the rate of a driver’s blinking, could help prevent accidents caused by fatigued drivers. Measurements of heart rate and pupil size have also been used to determine the level of focus a driver has on the road.
Researchers working on developing the texting technology are hopeful that it will help reduce the number of fatal and serious car accidents caused by distracted drivers. According to a spokesperson for the team, 75 percent of all car accidents are currently caused by distracted drivers. Though cell phone usage and texting remain the biggest forms of distracted driving, new research is indicating that fatigue, onboard navigation, entertainment systems, and eating are contributing to the problem of accidents also.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Victims Injured by Distracted Drivers
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP at 800-222-8792, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. #distracteddriving #textingwhiledriving