Pilots and air-traffic controllers texting each other? OMG! Your airline flight is finally starting to communicate the way the rest of the world does. The Wall Street Journal reports.
Controllers and pilots aren't using their cellphones to text, even though many passengers now do using apps and in-flight Wi-Fi. Instead, planes with modern cockpit systems can log on to new systems at air-traffic control centers and link digitally. Rather than sometimes difficult radio calls, pilots and controllers simply send each other text messages to change altitudes, routes and hand off from one controller to the next.
The system has been in use for flights across oceans for several years. Canada now has it active across its domestic skies and European controllers have it in use in two large regions. But the U.S. is way behind.
Read more. (PS The very handsome SkyGuide air traffic controller above is my son Max).
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile band together on the "It Can Wait" ad campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of sending text messages while behind the wheel. C/net reports.
Besides rolling out TV, radio, and Internet ads throughout the summer, the campaign will also travel to thousands of retail stores, create a social media presence, and display messaging on Goodyear blimps.
According to the U.S. government's distracted driving Web site, 3,331 people were killed by "distracted drivers" in 2011, while 3,267 were killed in 2010. A 2009 study by the VirginiaTech Transportation Institute showed that texting drivers were 23 percent more likely to get in a crash than those who pay attention to the road.
Texting while driving has now replaced drunk driving as the number one cause of death among US teenagers, according to new research from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. [via RedOrbit]
According to the study, more than 3,000 teens die each year as a result of sending SMS messages while operating a motor vehicle. In comparison, approximately 2,700 are killed as a result of driving while under the influence of alcohol, CBS New York reported on Thursday.
The pilot of an emergency medical helicopter flying over Missouri was sending and receiving text messages before a 2011 crash, the first time such distractions have been implicated in a fatal commercial aviation accident. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which meets today to assign a cause for the accident that killed four people including a patient, documented seven texts sent and received by the pilot, according to agency records.
This is the first time the NTSB has uncovered evidence of texting or mobile-phone use during a flight involved in a fatal accident, Kelly Nantel, an NTSB spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
In a recent ruling by a California court in Fresno, a judge ruled that the law banning wireless, cellular phone use while operating a motor vehicle also applies to California residents and visitors that attempt to use a mapping application like Google Maps while driving.
Americans are far more prone to talk on the go (than other developed countries, but texting and emailing may be less culturally specific phenomena. The Christian Science Monitor reports.
You'd think that since cell phones are now a global phenomenon, distracted driving would affect every country on the planet, and that it would be most pronounced in technologically oriented countries where cell phones have become a part of everyday life.
The CDC examined data from two studies: the 2011 EuroPNStyles and HealthStyles surveys, which polled drivers between the ages of 18 and 64. Researchers found that a whopping 69% of U.S. respondents had talked on their mobile phones while driving within the past 30 days.
Europeans couldn't match that number. The closest runner-up was Portugal, where the figure hit 59%. In the U.K., it was 21%.
According to Newsfixnow, The FAA has proposed a rule to ban the use of personal electronic devices in the cockpit.
In the past, pilots were banned from using personal electronics only during ‘critical phases’ of the flight, meaning takeoff and landing. Under the new rule, pilots would be banned for the entire flight from using any computer gadget for personal reasons.
Though no crashes have been blamed on ‘distracted flying,’ in 2009, a Northwest Airlines crew missed their destination by 150 miles because they were on their laptops.
Julius Genachowski, chairman of the FCC, sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration Thursday, urging the agency to allow more electronics on airplanes .BIts reports.
Mr. Genachowski said the F.A.A. should “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices” during flights. The letter was first obtained by The Hill.
The letter, which was addressed to Michael Huerta, the acting administrator of the F.A.A., went on to promote the importance of allowing people to use these devices on planes as more Americans become increasingly reliant on devices for work and pleasure.
“They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness,” Mr. Genachowski wrote.
The F.A.A. did not respond to a request for comment.
Acknowledging the annoyance factor, the FAA is forming a government-industry study panel and seeking public comment about the possible use of portable electronic devices — read Kindle, iPad, others — and more specifically voice over IP communications during flights. Skift reports.
The study could potentially mean that one day soon that passenger next to you in the window seat may be loudly negotiating a business deal or gossiping with his girlfriend over Skype while you are trying to catch some sleep or are contemplating the universe.
The use of cell phones for regular voice communications is not on the agenda, however.
This is all part of an FAA initiative to possibly expand the use of portable electronic devices — tablets, smartphones, laptops — during all phases of flight without compromising airline navigation and communications systems.
The government-industry group will study the issues over six months, and public comment is being sought over the next 60 days.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the person is driving, of course, but combined with GPS and other data, it may be possible to determine when a texter is behind the wheel. In that case, the phone could shut off texting functions automatically. Such a feature could take the form of a mobile app for any phone—independent of the manufacturer, operating system and wireless service provider.
... The PNNL researchers are hoping their work can help in ways that laws cannot—using the phones themselves to flag those who can’t resist the impulse to text and drive. They tested their approach in a limited study a few years ago by analyzing the behavior of six study participants who were instructed to text while operating a driving simulator.
Texting while driving contributes to nearly 100,000 crashes causing injury or death per year. Loathe to be held responsible for such a grim statistic, AT&T has announced a campaign to stop texting while driving as well as an app to help curb the practice. Read Write Web reports.
AT&T announced a new public awareness effort today as part of its ongoing “It Can Wait” initiative to bring attention to the dangers of texting while driving.
The campaign calls for people to make a lifelong commitment to safe texting. It will culminate with a “No Text On Board” pledge day on September 19.
The number of people who have landed in U.S. emergency rooms thanks to injuries incurred while they were walking and texting, tweeting, playing video games, talking on the phone, or listening to music on headphones, has more than quadrupled in the past seven years, the Associated Press reports via The Los Angeles Times.
In 2011 alone, 1,152 people were treated for distracted walking, according to data collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and that number is likely a gross underestimate since many doctors or nurses may not have asked whether the patient was using a mobile device at the time of the accident.
Researchers at the University of Maryland identified 116 cases in which pedestrians were killed or seriously injured while wearing headphones. Two-thirds of those injuries involved men under the age of 30, and half of them involved trains.
And data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that while traffic deaths went down in 2010 from the year before, pedestrian fatalities rose by 4.2% and injuries by 19%.
So maybe it's time to stop laughing at the viral videos and time to place our phones firmly in our bags and pockets while we walk the streets.
The Cellphone Accident Preventer (CAP) takes preventing behind-the-wheel mobile phone use to a new Orwellian level by making distracted-driving indiscretions public – and automatically ratting them out to the police.
Can I text while driving in California? Not yet, but starting next year it will be legal -- as long as you don't touch your phone. Mercury News reports.
With little notice, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a new bill, AB 1536, that will allow Golden State drivers to use Silicon Valley's "hands-free" technology to text behind the wheel for the first time since driving while texting was outlawed more than three years ago.
But the new law is so murky that already there is confusion over which devices will be legal, while some safety officials fear any type of texting will make the roads more dangerous.
A new law banning the use of mobile phones while driving is now in force in Ghana. Drivers caught sending text messages or using ear piece will be made to face the law, according to the new Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2180) passed by Parliament. Daily Guide Ghana reports.
The practices, according to the new law, include the use of mobile phones and the operation of television monitors on the dash board of vehicles when driving.
Televsion monitors on dash boards? If this sounds third world, believe it or not it happened in France a few years ago. A Figaro article of January 2008, revealed that French truckers were driving while watching movies on DVD players placed in the passenger seat.
Think your teen would never text while driving? More than half of high school seniors admitted in a government survey that they've done just that.
It's the first time the question was asked in a teen poll on risky behavior, and the finding comes amid a renewed federal crackdown on distracted driving. Wireless Week reports.
In the survey, about 58 percent of high school seniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month. About 43 percent of high school juniors acknowledged they did the same thing.
The findings released Thursday are the first federal statistics on how common the dangerous habit is in teens. Distracted driving deaths are most common in teens, blamed for about 16 percent of teen motor vehicle deaths.
Thirty-nine states ban texting for all age groups, and an additional five states outlaw it for novice teen drivers. And authorities are increasingly cracking down. In the last two weeks, teens in Missouri and Massachusetts have been sentenced to jail — one for a year — for fatal accidents involving texting.
A typical teen sends and receives about 100 text messages a day, and it's the most common way many kids communicate with their peers.
"A lot of teens say 'Well, if the car's not moving and I'm at a stoplight or I'm stuck in traffic, that's OK,'" said Lenhart, who has done focus groups with teens on the topic.
Other teens acknowledge that it's not safe, but they think it is safer if they hold the phone up so they can see the road and text at the same time, she said.
We all know that distracted driving is bad. A growing number of companies know it, too, and they're taking steps to ensure that their employees keep cell phones turned off when they're behind the wheel. The Christian Science Monitor reports.
According to an article in the New York Times, oil companies were among the first in the world to begin restricting their employees' use of cell phones. That only makes sense, since oil companies are huge, multinational outfits that employ a large number of drivers. Those drivers often handle very big rigs loaded with some very dangerous content, so the risks involved in crashing are huge.
Companies in other industries are taking notice. In fact, a nonprofit called the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety has sprung up to help some of America's biggest corporations -- from Coca-Cola to Monsanto to UPS -- improve the safety of their fleets.
Of course, these companies aren't just doing this for altruistic reasons: it benefits their bottom line, too. Fewer accidents mean greater productivity and fewer costly lawsuits.
Companies who institute effective bans on cell phone usage do more than just tell employees, "Don't use your phones on the road". They create a company-wide environment that supports such safety measures. Find out how.
A New Jersey judge is expected to rule this month on an interesting claim that a person can be held liable for sending a text to someone you know is driving, according to ABC News via Bernard Law Group.
In 2009, a 19-year-old man got into an accident while texting in his pickup truck. He replied to a text when his vehicle drifted across the center lane and struck a motorcycle.
Two people on the motorcycle suffered such serious injuries that they needed leg amputations. The couple sued the 19-year-old driver as well as the person who sent the text message.
According to ABCNews, Morris County Superior Court Judge David Rand is expected to make his ruling on May 25 about Colonna’s potential liability in the accident.
Australian passengers are repeatedly ignoring safety bans on mobile phones and using their devices mid-flight, the national air safety investigator has found, reports News.com.au.
Passengers have been caught using their mobile phones more than 500 times since the beginning of last year on just one airline, a report by the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) says.
The ATSB investigation stemmed from a passenger complaint made through its confidential reporting scheme, REPCON, about others texting and using the internet on their mobiles during flights from Sydney to Melbourne.
Concern was raised that cabin crew may not be taking the safety matter seriously and had failed to adequately warn passengers to turn off electrical devices or put them in flight mode.
The airline responded, saying the “hundreds of reports that come through each year” from their staff showed cabin crew and members of the public took the issue seriously.
Virtually all teenagers agree that texting while driving is dangerous but nearly half admit they have done it anyway, according to a new nationwide survey released on Monday. Reuters reports.
Three-quarters of teenagers also said in an online poll that texting while driving was common among their friends, and reported that their parents text at nearly the same rate as they do while driving.
The poll, conducted by an independent research firm for AT&T, was the second survey in a week to show teens agree that text messaging while driving was dangerous, even as many admit to doing it.
Consumer Reports said last week its survey showed that while eight in 10 said they knew the risks, some 29 percent of drivers aged 16 to 21 had text messaged while driving in the past month.
... Compounding the issue was the finding of what teens thought constituted texting while driving.
"The findings indicate reading a text is somehow (seen as) less dangerous than typing a text," said Andrea Brands, AT&T's director of consumer safety and education.
According to the Scotsman, passengers on Sir Richard Branson’s airline, Virgin Atlantic, will be able to make and receive phone calls while in the air.
The facility, which also includes the sending and receiving of text messages, will be available initially on Virgin’s new Airbus A330 aircraft, flying from London to New York and on the airline’s Boeing 747 planes.
By the end of 2012, nearly 20 aircraft will provide the service.
This week, police in Fort Lee, NJ became fed up once and for all with the irritating texting while walking epidemic.
Fort Lee’s police chief has started ordering his officers to ticket careless pedestrians on the spot: “They’re not alert and they’re not watching what they’re doing,” Police Chief Thomas Ripoli told CBS, saying his office had seen 23 pedestrian accidents since January because of Twexting. “As of now, they are to give summonses to pedestrians who do not adhere to crosswalks and the lights.”
Other cities and states have considered texting while walking measures—including Arkansas and Pennsylvania—but this is the first time in the tri-state area that such a ban has been enforced.
According to Daily Tech, a ban on cell phone use while driving in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has been temporarily halted due to a lawsuit against the town.
The ban completely outlaws the use of mobile phones or hands-free Bluetooth devices while driving in the town of Chapel Hill. Those that violate the ordinance receive a $25 fine. There are a few exceptions, however, including emergency phone calls, and calls to parents, children or a spouse.
... According to WRAL, the state Attorney General's Office said that Chapel Hill did not have the authority to pass the ban.
"An ordinance by the Town of Chapel Hill regulating motorists' use of cell phones is preempted by State law, and therefore, unenforceable," said North Carolina state assistant attorney general Jess Mekeel.