Cars are safer, roads are safer, drivers are stupider. Sounds harsh, but we’re hearing plenty about “distracted driving,” coinciding with the popularity of smartphones. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s state safety engineer, Priscilla Tobias, says this could be an effect of society as much as it is technology.
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“I see that today, compared to maybe 20 years ago, kids are in a lot of activities. People are a lot busier in their day-to-day life than they ever were,” she says. “I find myself, I start out the morning somewhat distracted when I leave the house, because I’ve got a lot of things going on.”
Tobias says with the safety features in today’s vehicles, including some autonomous elements, the IDOT mantra of “Driving Zero Fatalities to Reality” could be within sight.
Tobias helped lead a “safety summit” IDOT held in Springfield.