Chart of the Day: Common Forms of Distracted Driving

As the Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow pointed out recently, distracted driving is a huge problem that seemingly everyone is ignoring. Here’s a nice chart from AAA about what actually is doing the “distracting”: While this chart kind of reminds me of one of The Onion’s infographics, it’s still informative. AAA seems to focus on teens, […]

The “Distracted Pedestrian” Distracts from the Real Safety Problem

I remember the first time I heard about “distracted pedestrians. I was attending a civic event, mingling with a long-time traffic engineer. As we began chatting about street safety, he brought it up immediately. “Distracted pedestrians,” he said, and went on about the increasing problem they posed. He was concerned, and spent a long time […]

April Fools - Margaret Anderson Kelliher in front of Shake Shack

MnDOT to Combat Dangerous Scourge of ‘Distracted Walking’ at Mall of America

April 1, Bloomington — The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has announced an exciting new effort in its campaign to fight the dangerous epidemic of distracted walking, by targeting one of the metro area’s most dangerous areas for distracted pedestrians: the Mall of America. “Distracted driving claims thousands of lives each year,” noted MnDOT Commissioner […]

Texting While Driving is Illegal and Dangerous, but People Still Do It

As Minnesota works to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to traffic crashes, one of the biggest challenges is the growing number of crashes caused by distracted driving, especially texting and driving. In the last four years, almost a quarter of all crashes that resulted in a death or serious injury were attributed to […]

Map Monday: State Bans on Texting and Driving

This map, from Mother Jones, shows bans and fines on texting and driving in the different US states: Check out Alaska! Here’s what the article has to say: The leading cause of death for teenage drivers is now texting, not drinking, with nearly a dozen teens dying each day in a texting-related car crash. Stark figures like this […]

In Defense of Texting and Driving*

I found myself stuck in traffic last week during rush hour on Highway 62 running along the southern border of Minneapolis into St. Paul. As I was creeping along at a snail’s pace, my phone beeped. Without hesitation, I picked up my phone and texted a friend with one hand while keeping the other on […]

Into the Weeds on Safety and Cell Phones

Recently state representatives Mark Uglem and Frank Hornstein introduced a bill to the Minnesota Legislature to criminalize talking on a handheld cell phone while driving. The benefits of this bill are sold to be increased safety, particularly from having two hands ready and on the wheel at all times, and easier enforcement of the texting […]

road fatalities, children, by country

Why Are We Killing Our Children with Cars?

Nearly every year we hear that the number of people killed by people driving cars is down from the year before. That’s good right? The good news is that the trend has indeed continued downward since the number killed peaked in 1972. Nationally, only 33,561 people were killed in 2012 and 2.36 million were injured. […]

Cutting Off the Thumbs of Drivers Using Cell Phones: Pros & Cons

Americans! They’re quite busy, they’ll tell you, and in constant and desperate need of stimulus, and also a way to block the forever empty inside all of us. They also drive everywhere. When you combine this type of existential dread/listlessness with our star-spangled auto-dependance, you get a situation where anywhere from 75% to 110% of […]