Guest Blog: Steve Gehring, Vice President Vehicle Safety and Connected Automation.
With summer driving season upon us, I welcome this opportunity to be a guest blogger. As a longtime proponent of automotive safety, I want to remind everyone that we can all benefit from following basic safe driving principles. We can also encourage government to enact policies that support the deployment of crash avoidance technologies.
For many years, my family and I have made the long trek down to Florida (and back). I have seen people make poor choices on our highways, ranging from unbelted adults and children, erratic and aggressive driving, and even drivers reading what appears to be the latest New York Times best seller. I have also been in my share of traffic due to crashes in which people did not follow basic safe driving principles like:
· Buckling up all passengers
· Using appropriate child restraints
· Not driving impaired or distracted
· Obeying traffic safety laws
· Not driving drowsy
Almost half of all annual highway fatalities involve unbelted occupants, and we lose approximately 10,000 lives per year due to drunk driving alone. Also, 25 to 50 children could die this year from heat stroke because they were left unattended in a hot car. These deaths are totally preventable so please never leave your child alone in a car – not even for a minute.
How do we change this and make our highways safer? More effective public education, high visibility law enforcement, and good government policies all play a key role. Automakers are also doing great things through advanced safety technologies, including developments in automated vehicles and connected cars that further promise to save lives.
The path forward is clear: We need to continue to educate road users to follow basic safe driving principles.
Let’s be safe this summer driving season, and from experience, don’t let the “are we there yet” distract you.
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