That’s a fact. One of the most dangerous distractions in your vehicle is your hand held device. Its sounds, notifications, and connection to your social life dangerously beckon your attention. In reality there is no safe way to use your device while your car is in gear, even with handsfree Bluetooth systems. At White River Toyota we can think of 1000 situations where you wouldn’t text on your phone, so why would you while you're driving?
We love the Upper Valley - it's our community - and we sell Toyota's because we believe our community deserves to drive a reliable quality vehicle. We also believe that it's our duty to inform our customers, and our community about how to safely operate any vehicle. When a driver pulls out their phone behind the wheel they are not only putting themselves at risk but they are also putting those around them at risk. Continue reading to learn more about the risks associated with distracted driving, and what Toyota is doing to eliminate hand held device related distractions.
Manual, Visual, and Cognitive. Sending a text message is all three. Manual, because you are holding your phone, visual because you are looking at your phone, and cognitive because your mind is busy processing the text message. This makes texting one of the most dangerous things to do behind the wheel. Of course there are countless distractions from road signs, to controlling the radio, and infotainment systems, but none of these distract a driver quite like texting does. Picking up the phone, and using one or two hands to hold it and type takes all of your attention off the road making you 23 times more likely to crash. Other handheld device related activities are dangerous, but nowhere near as dangerous as texting. Dialing increases your risk of crashing to 2.8 times, and talking on the phone increases it 1.3 times, while reaching for the device increases it to 1.4 times. The dangers are best reflected in this one statistic: 25% of all car accidents are caused by texting and driving.
Radio, navigation, and your smart device are all distractions. The fact is you should avoid multitasking behind the wheel. Multitasking is not really the best word to describe it because when you reach for your phone, or change the radio station the fact is that you stop driving your car to focus on another task. You stop looking at the road, and are abandoning control of your vehicle. Devices are the most distracting because of how long the user can stay on them checking social media, email, news the list goes on. Because of the extreme dangers of using a handheld device while driving, many states are outlawing the use of handheld devices and putting steep penalties on those who are caught. In Vermont and New Hampshire, the use of a handheld device is illegal while driving resulting in insurance points, ticketing, and for some drivers - the suspension of their license.
Toyota Motor Company is working to create an environment in their vehicles that allows their customers to have control over their handheld device without the use of their hands or eyes. By creating features that allow drivers to easily answer phone calls, operate their radio and infotainment systems (often times from the steering wheel) Toyota is minimizing distractions. These features do not completely eliminate the distraction, but they do significantly lower it. Entune, Toyota’s infotainment system is their solution to distracted driving. With wireless calling, hands free navigation, simple user interfaces and now the full functionality of the Android OS and Siri compatibility, the distractions once caused by our personal devices are greatly reduced. AAA conducted a study in 2014 to measure technology distractions behind the wheel. By measuring how long it took drivers to complete tasks like making a call, changing music, or using navigation while driving they were able to see which systems were more and less distracting. The least distracting system? Toyota Entune.
By pairing a compatible Bluetooth phone to an Entune system you can make hands-free calls and control music from the steering wheel. You ask and Entune listens, limiting distractions and allowing you to be connected.
Are you an iPhone user? You can talk to Siri through your Toyota. By pressing the phone off hook button on the steering wheel you can activate the power of Siri while leaving your phone in your pocket, or on the passenger seat.
When you connect your device to Entune you can easily play music through your car speakers. You can also change songs from your steering wheel keeping your hands on the wheel and your mind on the road.
An option that not only shows you the way, it shows you the best way. Toyota's integrated navigation system gives you important information about current traffic conditions, trip planning, and the optimal time to start your drive. The best part is, you can operate it using your voice.