ATLANTA – Joe DeLago, CEO of Good2Go Auto Insurance Company, known for its Cell Phone Safety Discount, announced April 11 that he has issued written pleas to CEOs of American auto manufacturers urging them to eliminate technological distractions from all new vehicles sold.
April is nationally recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month and DeLago says Good2Go is fighting to bring awareness to the growing epidemic.
Distracted driving, which occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on another activity, such as texting or dialing a cell phone, is a major contributor to auto accidents in the United States. In fact, in 2013, distracted driving caused 10% of fatal crashes and 18% of all injury crashes. Worse, distracted driving contributed to 3,154 deaths and 424,000 injuries in motor vehicle crashes.1
"With thousands of people dying and hundreds of thousands more becoming injured, distracted driving is a huge threat to the safety of American citizens," says DeLago. "It is imperative that we do something to decrease that threat. Good2Go has led the charge on that front with our Cell Phone Safety Discount, but we can't do this alone – auto manufacturers need to help."
DeLago argues that automakers are actually encouraging distracted driving by creating dashboards with smartphone features and Wi-Fi capability. "As manufacturers continue to cater to millennials, they're adding more and more technology to vehicles. These connected vehicles are drawing drivers away from the ultimate task, driving. Auto manufacturers need to eliminate distractions rather than adding to the problem."
Volkswagen, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai, Ford, Chevrolet, Kia, and Dodge have all offered models with Bluetooth technology standard since 2013. Even using a hands-free device to control a cell phone can delay a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. Whether the technology is hands-free or not, there is a significant, four-fold increase in accident potential.2 "It is as if auto makers are installing full service bars in lieu of glove compartments in their new cars. Would we, as a society, accept that?" asks DeLago.
Wi-Fi capability is the latest technology being pushed by auto manufacturers. Some makers like Chevrolet cater to parents, with commercials featuring small children using their Wi-Fi connection to power video games. However, children aren't the only ones using the Internet. Ford is on the forefront of in-dashboard Internet with its SYNC3 system. This kind of interactive technology requires higher-level visual and audio functioning, which distracts the brain from the most important task, which is driving safely.
"At Good2Go, we believe that it is important for auto manufacturers to prioritize the safety of drivers over the attractiveness of technology as a selling feature," says DeLago.
About Good2Go: Based in Atlanta, Good2Go is a member of American Independent Insurance Companies, which offers affordable car insurance online to help uninsured drivers get the car insurance they need to drive legally. Good2Go specializes in minimum liability car insurance, and offers collision and comprehensive coverage. For more information, visit Good2Go.com.
1 U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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