Plenty has changed since the automobile was first introduced to the public over a century ago. The modern car would be unrecognizable to Carl Benz, the one who is said to have invented the first automobile. Nowadays, the cars people drive are faster, more comfortable, and, most importantly, safer.
Although road accidents still happen, driving a car has never been safer. Automobile manufacturers have developed new strategies and technologies to decrease crashes. Nowadays, autonomous vehicles are in development in the hopes of minimizing road accidents altogether by eliminating human error. There have been changes in regulations and the road, too, in an attempt to save more lives.
But safety still relies on the driver. Drivers, at all times, must remain attentive to their surroundings at all times to prevent accidents. Despite all the new features in cars, drivers still have to be careful whenever they are behind the wheel.
Being Recorded Leads to Safer Roads
But being careful while on the road is not too difficult considering that one only has to follow the rules. Moreover, the very act of installing a dashcam in your car could make you a much better driver.
A dashcam is a technology used to record your journey. It is a precautionary measure to ensure that, in case you get into an accident, you have solid proof of what happened. For example, during a collision, the dashcam footage can determine who is at fault and the victim, which will prove helpful when filing police reports and insurance claims. In an increasing number of cases, dashcam footage is now being used as evidence in court hearings.
According to a study, having a dashcam can also make the driver more careful behind the wheel.
OnePoll explored the influence that a dashcam can have on the driver. It found that 34 percent of those who use a dashcam believe that the device makes the road safer. Meanwhile, nearly half of drivers (42 percent) that have a dashcam in their car believe that other drivers become more careful because of the technology.
Having an Engaging Conversation Decreases Crash Risk
Using your smartphone while behind the wheel is extremely dangerous and, more importantly, illegal. However, having a conversation through a mobile device is not risky and, according to experts, can help drivers be more careful while driving — as long as the call is hands-free.
A study has already investigated whether talking on the phone while driving is really bad. The researchers used video data and sensors to determine how badly talking on the phone can impact driving. Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that those who use a hand-held phone have a two to 3.5 times increased risk of getting into a car crash compared to normal drivers who do not talk to their phones while behind the wheel.
On the other hand, taking phone calls through hands-free devices has the opposite effect. Those who were in conversation while driving remained safe. Although there is a very brief lag in mental processing, they still remained alert and were able to observe their surroundings. It also helps because, when people talk, they tend to look forward more often, and they do not suffer from fatigue or drowsiness. In short, they are in much better condition to drive while talking to a hands-free device.
The Best Music for Driving
Research has also been conducted on the influence of listening to music, which most people do, and driving. According to the researchers, different types of music can have different effects on people.
The researchers named songs such as Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith as ideal for driving. Both songs have a tempo that mimics the human heartbeat which is at 60 to 80 beats per minute. Listening to these songs makes people much safer drivers.
However, songs with fast beats can make drivers more aggressive and lead them to break more road rules. This is because fast beats excite the listener. Drivers become more likely to concentrate on listening to the music than what is happening on the road. Genre, too, has an impact. Women who listened to hip-hop while driving drove more aggressively and braked harder. Men who listened to heavy metal speed up.
It is the responsibility of every driver to be careful and alert while on the road. Although many things have changed to improve driver safety, current strategies and technology are not perfect yet. There is still a risk of accident whenever you sit behind the wheel to travel to a destination.