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Distracted driving: We’re Number 1

March 15, 2013
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

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Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Patrick J. Skerrett


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The Canary Project
April 25, 2013

Our commitment to end distracted driving.
Awareness is sobering.
Canary reports can help all drivers realize how often they put their lives – and the lives of others – at risk.
A phone in the car is like a loaded gun. And it’s going to take a lot more than a promise to get drivers to resist using phones while behind the wheel. It’s going to require tools, technologies, programs, crusades and legislation – powerful enough to change behaviors.
The Canary Project is an initiative that brings together people with a passion to curb distracted driving and save lives, especially those of teenager drivers. It includes crusaders, developers, researchers and more.

• Real-time alerts, including:
-Talking, texting, emailing, using social media or any other phone use while on the road
-Speeding (or riding in a speeding car)
-Traveling into areas set as off limits or beyond areas defined as safe
• Emergency button: Designate contacts to receive immediate alerts and location information in the event of an emergency.
• Instant locator: Find out exactly where your “Canaried” phones are.
• Customizable settings: Get alerts via push notifications or email. Set up daily or weekly reports summarizing each driver’s record.
• Advanced analytics: Access deep details, charts and graphs to track progress.

April 12, 2013

important to note that this stat and graph apply only to talking on a cell phone. The texting/emailing while driving graph still looks bad, with USA at #2 (behind Portugal at #1…and the graph honestly doesn’t really show much of a difference), but still…technically not #1

Peter E
March 31, 2013

For what it’s worth, I have to take my hat off to the police in south Mississippi for keeping the texting-while-driving issue in perspective.

I had pulled off near a gas station in Long Beach, MS, a ghost town since Katrina with no economy to speak of, to reply to a series of texts that had arrived as I drove along Hwy 90 at sunset

Anyway, my license was expired, and the gentleman who had approached my vehicle opted against ticketing me or arresting me for driving w/o a license because I had pulled off the road altogether in order to text.

No excuse for not having my license valid, but he realized he’d not have been at my driver’ side window had I tried to text while driving.

Heather Anderson
March 17, 2013

Would I be able to have an MRI of the brain since I have a VNS implant?

March 15, 2013

The only think I could think when I saw this is headline…

*Pumps fist* USA! USA! USA!

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