Distracted Driving Is a Bigger Problem Than We Thought

The numbers do not lie: 37,150 people in the US died due to distracted driving in 2017. But, sadly that is not the worst part of the news. Researchers are finding that there is no single cause to preventing distracted driving.

This means that there is no direct route to a solution resulting in more and more deaths. Right now, the only thing proven to work is to spread awareness about distracted driving.

Another thing that experts are deciding to try is how to make smartphone connectivity to cars to take less attention. Almost every new car on the market makes it easy to connect your phone to your car.

You are able to stream music, map directions, and in some cases even order food, coffee, etc. This is taking many drivers’ attention away from the road, in drivers aged 17 to 22 spend at least 12% of their time behind the wheel messing with their smart phones. Any percentage of time on your phone behind the wheel is too much time directed away from the road.

Both Apple and Android have their own extensions for cars. At one point Apple demanded more of customers’ attention than the Android version when entering directions and getting from one place to another. But, when it came to texting Android was by far more of a distraction. However, both must make a change to reduce the threat of distracted driving.

With all of the new tech in cars, come inward facing cameras. Some people are not okay with that for privacy reasons which is understandable as to a degree, it is a basic right, in most peoples’ eyes. However, these cameras may help develop self-driving cars with the data it collects. Additionally, it may be our answer to solving the distracted driving epidemic.

The data the cameras collected from crashes and everyday driving habits can be analyzed by experts to determine how to make the new technology in vehicles less cognitively demanding or even develop an algorithm to prevent inappropriate use while the vehicle is in motion.

But, how much privacy are consumers really willing to give up? How much of their data are companies entitled to? Right now, there is not much regulation, but it is probably coming soon as new cars will soon all have this technology.

There must be some type of compromise because when this data is used appropriately, breakthroughs can happen. For example, a lot of the tracking built into these cars can prevent crimes. A lot of the data provided can solve the mystery of crashes, including distracted driving crashes and provoke ideas on how to prevent them. The results can save money on auto insurance, medical bills, and most importantly lives which are priceless.

However, it is ultimately up to drivers to stop practicing distracted driving habits. Remember, distracted driving does not only come from cell phone and car functions taking your eyes off of the road. It also includes eating, drinking, putting on makeup and more. It must be put to an end to reduce the number of accidents and casualties.

Safer Cars Does Not Mean Safer Roads

These days, it is pretty standard for cars to include top of the line safety features. These range from rear-view cameras, lane departure warnings, traction control and even blind spot detection.

Driving a safe vehicle can also mean more money in your pocket as drivers can save on car insurance cost. A car insurance company is generally able to provide more affordable car insurance if your vehicle has safety features. However, safer cars do not necessarily mean safer roads across the country.

From January to June, approximately 18,720 people have died on U.S. roads. As a result of a growing economy, people are driving more miles compared to recession level data. Less unemployment means more cars are on the road getting people to and from work and more money for leisure activities. In 2017, Americans traveled 3.22 trillion miles according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Factor in more miles driven along with speeding, drug and alcohol impaired driving and distracted driving and the fatality rate is at an all-time high.

South Carolina leads the nation in traffic fatality rates per miles traveled. In 2017, the state had 1.88 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, which is almost two times the national average. Illinois reported 1,090 traffic deaths.

This trend prompted Governor Rauner to declare August 17 as Traffic Fatality Awareness Day at the Illinois State Fair through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Health, Illinois Secretary of State and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

States across the country have launched similar awareness efforts like Vision Zero. Vision Zero’s goal is to strategically eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for everyone.

Reducing speed is perhaps the most effective way to reduce the fatalities. Speed increases the distance it takes a car to come to a complete stop. The speed of impact is also directly correlated to the risk of death. The higher the speed of impact, the higher the probability of a passenger dying becomes.

Even with lower speeds, it is hard for police officers to enforce these lower limits. Automated cameras are already unpopular and adding more would also be costly.

Every year, an estimated 40,000 Americans die on the road. With effective legislation and commitment, we can all work together to reduce that statistic.

According to research by the Overseas Development Institute and the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, one way to make progress is to treat traffic fatalities and road safety as a public health issue. The public has to stop blaming drivers for collisions and look to policymakers for ways to help prevent them.

The Brilliance of “Design Your Own” Engagement Rings

There are few moments in life more exciting or more beautiful than that moment when two people decide to spend the rest their lives together. And when you design your own engagement rings as a keepsake token of that special moment, you’re creating a memory that will last a lifetime.

Designing your own engagement rings is a whole lot easier than you might initially think. In today’s world, many people are looking for more creative ways to express their love and devotion to another and, even though an engagement ring is certainly a very traditional token of this intent, when you design it yourself it adds a certain sentimental twist to the gesture. Not only that, but designing your own engagement ring is a good way to ensure uniqueness, as well as a good fit with her personal style. Now, you might be thinking, but I’m not a jeweler! I can’t design custom jewelry! But here’s the good news…you don’t have to have a high level of expertise or even fashion sense to design great diamond rings. You simply have to be able to choose and put together the elements you like from a selection of loose diamonds and ring settings. Here’s how the process of designing your own engagement rings works:

Step 1: Choose a Diamond
You will be presented with an array of loose diamonds from which to choose for your solitaire. Loose diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, and your search will be made infinitely easier if you take a moment to filter your diamond criteria by cut, carat, color and clarity. If you like, you can also filter your diamond search results by price, ensuring that you are only seeing the loose diamonds that fit into your specified budget.

Step 2: Choose a Setting
You’ve found the perfect diamond solitaire. Now, it’s time to choose a setting. Yellow gold, white gold and platinum are typical metal choices for the settings on diamond rings. Beyond that, a four- or six-prong arrangement will be recommended for securing the stone itself. And just like that, you’re almost done. Almost…

Step 3: Making it Your Own with Diamond Accents
That’s all it takes to put together beautiful diamond rings, but if you really want to dazzle her with a unique and distinctive piece of jewelry of your own design, then you need to take the process just one step further. Diamond accents add that extra touch of class and style that set custom engagement rings apart from the crowd; a token of your love that she’ll look upon fondly every day from this moment on.

It’s easy to design your own engagement rings and, when you see the look of joy and amazement on her face, you’ll know – without a doubt – that it was worth the extra effort involved in designing her ring yourself.