Ford Motor Company is the first automaker to endorse a federal ban on text messaging while driving. Louis Tijerina (Tea-arena) Senior Technical Specialist in Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford Motor company explained why the company supports the proposed legislation.
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|Cut #1:||"We're very interested in the safety of not only our Ford customers but road users in general and we're very actively involved in trying to address driver distraction. We believe that anything that takes the drivers eyes off the road or hands off the wheel is something that needs to be controlled." :18 sec.|
|Tijerina went on to say that texting while driving is on the increase and that's another reason Ford Motor Company feels something needs to be done.|
|Cut #2:||"Texting is a particularly difficult, visual-manual task. That isn't opinion, that's fact from recent research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute under NITSA's sponsorship, and we have basically come out in support of a ban because we think it improves highway safety." :17 sec.|
|To no surprise, texting is a common practice among younger drivers. Virginia Tech research used a naturalistic driving research method, which is done with a heavily instrumented car, the individual's own vehicle, and the individual driver is recorded driving where they wish as they wish with video, with engineering data, with radar data about surrounding vehicles, and lane tracking. Naturalistic data collection is done in real traffic and data is collected not for an hour, but for weeks and months.|
|Cut #3:||"What we found by reading the VTTI research is that text messaging was associated with a 23-fold increase in risk of crash and near miss involvement as compared to periods when people are just driving. That is enormously greater than anything we've seen before." :21 sec.|
|While Ford Motor Co. endorsed a bill in Congress to ban hand-held text messaging while driving recently, a Senate version, sponsored by Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. would withhold highway funding to states that do not adopt a ban. The bill would not prohibit people from using Ford's Sync system or other systems to send hands-free messages.|
|Cut #4:||"We're very proud of the [Sync] technology. We think it's the way of the future. It's very good and it will be getting better and better." :06 sec.|
|To date, 14 states and the District of Columbia have banned sending text messages. Tijerina (Tea-arena) says driver distraction appears to be more visual than anything else.|
|Cut #5:||"It's looking away from the road scene that people need to manage very carefully and technology that helps people keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel is, I think, an improvement." :11 sec.|
|Ford Sync is standard equipment on many models and is available on other vehicles for about $400.00. The Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety officials, said last month that it favored a nationwide text-messaging ban.|