Driver assist technologies to reduce risky behavior

August 31, 2012 12:00 AM

Drivers know that certain behaviors are risky, such as texting or seeking a new radio station. However, many admit to engaging in those behaviors anyway. Ford Motor Co. is looking for ways meet drivers' diverse road needs while increasing safety.

To that end, Ford commissioned Penn Schoen Berland to conduct a study and found that of the 2,506 U.S. drivers polled, 99 percent of them thought they were good drivers, according to the Detroit Free Press. However, the numbers tell a slightly different story. Of the drivers polled, 76 percent eat or drink behind the wheel, 55 percent speed, 53 percent use a handheld phone and 37 percent drive despite being exhausted. Many of the self-reported good drivers express that they would like driver assist technology anyway, according to the Scientific American.

"People are saying they are safe drivers but they are engaging in other things while behind the wheel," Billy Mann, managing director of Penn Schoen Berland, told the news provider.

A significant number of respondents expressed that voice-activated technology is a safe alternative to handheld texting, according to previous findings from Penn, Schoen and Berland. The research shows that distractions that take a driver's eyes away from the road are factors in 80 percent of accidents. Of the survey responders, 76 percent of them would like to see voice-activated technology integrated into vehicles.

Ford responded with the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion with the most driver-assist technologies in Ford vehicle to date, according to the news source. Now, can it complete its own oil change? Perhaps that will come next.

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