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December 13, 2016

Distracted Driving

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July 2015

Earlier this month, project director Chris Urmson posted a blog with an important observation — that we seem to be getting hit by a lot of drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road. ​Although the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that summer is the “100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers, what we’re seeing goes well beyond an age group or specific time of year.

Driving is actually really complex — a driver driving at 30 mph sees an average of 1320 pieces of information every minute. Yet most of us think it’s pretty mundane and that we’re above average drivers, giving us the confidence to multitask and take our eyes off the road. Cell phones are the most common distractors, with ~660,000 drivers using cell phones or other devices while driving at any given daylight moment across America. These folks are unfortunately 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event — see for yourself with AT&T’s texting while driving simulator.

Check out Chris’s blog for more on why this is motivating us to work toward building a fully self-driving car.