How Technology Can Help Reduce Driver Distraction

by Adam Felts

New technologies – whether brought in from outside the car or part of the driving system itself – have been highlighted as a culprit in a new wave of dangerous distracted driving.  But technology can also play a role in making us more attentive and better drivers, whether in countering technology misuse or in aiding us as drivers.

AgeLab Research Scientist Pnina Gershon is the lead author of a report published by the National Distracted Driving Coalition on the potential of existing and emerging technologies to reduce distracted driving and support drivers. “Many people think of technology, especially smartphones and complicated infotainment screens, as a major cause of distracted driving,” she said in a press release accompanying the report. “While that’s true, other technologies can potentially help keep people focused on driving or help them avoid a crash if they are distracted.”

The report explores the potential of four technological categories to make driving safer: driver monitoring systems that issue warnings when the driver appears distracted; phone restriction tools like the “Do Not Disturb” feature; crash avoidance technologies like automated emergency braking and lane departure warnings; and cameras intended to aid in enforcing laws such as the prohibition on texting while driving.

Read the full report here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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