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ADEPT Driver Calls on Safety Advocates to Address Causes of Distracted Driving

Elk Grove, CA, April 4, 2018 – ADEPT Driver, a research and development company that builds proven crash avoidance training technology, urges safety advocates to address the causes of distracted driving, and calls on all drivers, including those operating vehicles equipped with autonomous or semi-autonomous technology, to remain vigilant and avoid distractions at all times while driving. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a united effort among safety advocates to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving.

“Awareness of the problem is important, but in order to treat a behavioral disorder like distracted driving you need to address the cause,” said Dr. Richard Harkness, CEO of ADEPT Driver. “Driver complacency, fostered by in-vehicle technology, denial of risk, and lack of visual awareness skills causes many distracted driving crashes. Drivers’ reliance on self-driving technologies and lack of accurate risk perception are at the core of the problem. Effective behavioral interventions have shown statistically significant reductions in crash frequency and crash severity. We urge the safety community to join us in recommending proven interventions that decrease crashes.”

“Recently a pedestrian in Arizona was tragically killed after being struck by an autonomous vehicle while the human operator was frequently looking down at their lap, not holding the steering wheel, and had eyes off the road for five seconds before the crash. This appears to be a clear case of driver complacency,” Dr. Harkness continued. “A second tragedy occurred a few days later in California in which a driver was killed when his semi-autonomous vehicle swerved into a freeway center divide. In both cases the drivers were distracted and failed to override the technology that malfunctioned. These are stark reminders that drivers must always be aware of the driving environment so they can react to unexpected situations and remain in control of their vehicle.”

ADEPT Driver’s products help drivers learn how to remain vigilant and avoid distractions while driving.

“Drivers can develop and strengthen the neuro-cognitive pathways that are associated with visual awareness, risk perception and crash avoidance,” said Dr. Harkness. “We created teenSMART and Lifelong Driver so that drivers can quickly scan, detect hazards and safely react to unexpected situations. Research backs up the benefits of completing these programs, with a 30% reduction in crash frequency and a 51% reduction in bodily injury. By training your brain to detect and avoid hazards, and eliminating distractions while you are behind the wheel, you will be in the best position to avoid crashes.”

ADEPT’s products are the only validated training programs that measurably improve visual search, hazard detection, risk perception and gap analysis – factors that cause more than 90% of all collisions.

During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, ADEPT Driver will join traffic safety partners to highlight the critical need to improve safe driving habits and avoid distractions while behind the wheel.

  • Throughout April: ADEPT Driver joins The National Safety Council (NSC), a partner in the safe driving effort, in calling on everyone to shut off all electronic communication devices while driving, and to raise awareness about districted driving through an information campaign. NSC provides materials and resources through this campaign that anyone can use to help keep families, friends and co-workers safe. In 2012 NSC awarded its Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award to ADEPT Driver for its teenSMART crash reduction program.  
  • April 7: ADEPT Driver will have a booth for the public to test drive its teenSMART crash reduction program at Safe Driving Starts Young, a driving awareness event at the Safety Center in Sacramento. This event is presented by the Safety Center’s Youth Advisory Council, and will be held in the Safety Center’s miniature city, Safetyville, from noon – 4:00 p.m.
  • April 22 – 24: ADEPT Driver will exhibit at the Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities in San Antonio, TX. This event brings together public health and safety professionals, researchers, advocates, practitioners and students committed to sharing best practices, research, and policy initiatives that are proven to work. The conference exhibit hall gives participants the opportunity to learn about and test-drive new products, including ADEPT Driver’s proven crash reduction training programs.