Posts Tagged ‘distracted driving’

Consumer Reports Wants to Ask Your High Schooler About Distracted Driving

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Consumer Reports is surveying high school students about their attitudes and practices regarding distracted driving. And they need your help.

If your child is in high school, please ask him or her to take this quick Survey Monkey survey. When the results are published this spring, I’ll link to them here. Thanks!

(Note: I’m the social-media reporter for Consumer Reports. Follow me on Twitter at @CReporter for all the latest consumer news! You can also follow me at @kathysena.) And be sure to check out the wonderful Consumer Reports blogs.

When Kids = Distracted Driving

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

We often think of distracted driving as driving while eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cell phone, etc. Driving with kids in the car can be distracting, too, according to a recent Consumer Reports* blog post, especially if there is crying, whining, or some other issue that warrants attention.

“Usually it’s either a dropped toy, needing a tissue, drink, or snack, that forces me to reach back and try to assist,” says Consumer Reports automotive writer Liza Barth.

“A few weeks ago, my husband rolled into a car in front of him after he inadvertently pulled his foot off the brake at a stop light while reaching to the back seat to tend to our son,” says Barth. “After that, we realized that even when stopped, it can not only be dangerous, but expensive (unfortunately, it was a BMW) to look away or remove your attention from the road.”

Visit the Consumer Reports blog for tips on driving (safely) with kids in tow. And visit Consumer Reports’ kids and car-safety section for more safety tips on driving with children.

*Full disclosure: In addition to being a parenting and health writer,  I work for Consumer Reports as their social media reporter. You can follow me on Twitter at @CReporter.

Texting and Driving: Public Service Announcement in England Shows it Like it Is

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

If you were watching the Today Show this morning, you may have seen parts of this public service announcement from England showing a group of teen girls in a car as they get into a horrific crash due to inattentive driving (texting, in this case). It’s shocking, really, compared with similar PSAs in the U.S. It’s graphic and upsetting and not something young children should see.

However… It should be required viewing in all high schools, in my opinion. It should be required viewing for all adults, too, in fact. I see so many people — not just teens — driving while talking on a cell phone, texting, applying mascara. Do they not realize they are driving a couple of tons of fast-moving metal? A potentially lethal weapon?

As a parent I feel so strongly about this. I worry for my son, his friends — all of us — when I see what’s going on on the roads today.

Being sorry later isn’t good enough. We need to get kids’ attention now. Today.

Show your teens this video. Talk with them about inattentive driving. We parents need to step up to the plate here and not only set form guidelines but also teach by example.

Our kids’ lives are at stake.

Zoned Out

Friday, January 18th, 2008

As a mom who endured six years (egads!) of driving through our elementary school’s drop-off zone before my son headed to middle school this year, I can attest to the fact that the parent volunteers there work tirelessly, day after day, politely encouraging parents to keep the zone moving and working hard to keep kids from being whacked at the kneecaps by their parents’ vehicles.

Dexter Ford’s wonderful article, "Zone Master," appears in today’s Easy Reader magazine, published  in the Los Angeles area. [Gotta love the cover art (left), too.] I have to share a taste of it with you, to entice you to check out the rest:

Every school morning at 8, give or take, you can find me standing, like
a grizzly bear in cargo shorts, at the hilltop cul-de-sac where 13th
Street meets John Street. Expensive cars, pickup trucks, minivans and
SUVs, dozens of SUVs, climb like caterpillars up 13th Street, waiting
their turn for me to open their doors, yank backpacks, science projects
and cellos out onto the curb, and shepherd their giggling spawn into
the schoolyard, hopefully without sustaining blunt-force trauma.

That last part is more of a challenge than you might think. If you have
kids, and you enjoy scaring yourself, you should come up to The Zone
some morning and watch…

To read the entire article, click here.

Driven to Distraction

Monday, October 8th, 2007

A couple of years ago, my husband, then-9-year-old son and I had a too-close call with a cell-phone-wielding woman maneuvering an SUV through our always-crowded downtown area.

She hung a fast right on red without stopping, slowing or, apparently, even wondering if any pedestrians might be taking advantage of the flashing “walk” signal. Fortunately, my husband saw her and pulled both Matt and me from her path. She never even noticed us scrambling out of her way.