Archive for the ‘Safety’ category

My Mobile Daydream

October 10th, 2009

I am sitting in my office with 3 computers and a netbook, a gps plugged in to make sure it is up to date, an mp3 player syncing my latest songs and podcasts for the next drive, and six thumbdrives to carry files around.  My cellphone is in my pocket, waiting to beep at me for the next text message.  I am armed to the teeth with gadgets, getting them ready for when I need them.  Sometimes I feel like Batman with all this junk.  It is definitely time for some simplification and elegance.

I often daydream about outfitting my car with it’s own computer, complete with the ability to sync audio with a home server over wifi.  This would get rid of several devices that I carry with me on any given day.  “Why not hook up the netbook or cellphone to the car stereo?”, one might ask.  It’s real simple: POWER.  I want the audio in my car to sound like I am in a symphony, just like it does when I take the time to burn a cd.  I want to have a nice soundcard pushing the audio to an amplifier.  I want it fixed in my vehicle and not as an accessory.

I have found several articles about this topic from a few years ago, but I think the state of the economy has hindered projects such as these.  For reference, I will leave you with a couple that I found interesting and keep everyone posted if I decide to proceed on the endeavour.

Computerize your car – CNET 2005
Put A PC In Your Car – InformationWeek 2006

Distracted Driving: Cell Phones

September 17th, 2009

The issue of distracted driving has become a major concern throughout the United States and most of the world due to the proliferation of cheap cell phone devices and all the features that go with them. Mobile devices are by design alerting us to the fact that something is going on outside of our vehicles. This is resulting in a large amount of rear-end collisions that would be otherwise avoided.
States have begun enhancing distracted driving laws which have been on the books since the radio became a popular vehicle accessory. Regulations vary from state to state regarding cell phones and in some cases ban their use on certain segments of road or define situational limits. Looking this information up ahead of interstate travel will help you avoid an out of state traffic violation, something no one enjoys dealing with.
Earlier this month, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a table outlining the rules of all 50 states with very detailed information.
While technology can benefit us and aid in our feeling of connectedness, we need to also be careful and courteous of other motorists. I created a list of tips for driving.

  1. Inform callers that you are on the road to keep conversations brief.
  2. If you are expecting a text at a certain time, notify that person that you will be driving and temporarily unable to text.
  3. Use a handsfree device such as a headset or an in car speaker like the Blue Ant.
  4. Do not text at all on the road, not even at stop lights. Intersections are very difficult for emergency vehicles to navigate through and drivers not paying attention to them are the last thing a fire truck or ambulance driver needs to contend with.

If you have any other suggestions for tips, please let me know in the comments section.  Keep it safe and arrive alive!