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"Driver Distractions, Cell Phones and In-Car Devices"

  • 03/11/2020
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor
  • 44


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Our PAP CLE lunch and learn partnership sessions continue with the Philadelphia Bar Association on March 11, 2020 with a session "Driver Distractions, Cell Phones and In-Car Devices" presented by Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D. and Kevin P. O'Brien, Esquire. Join us for this informative session. Cost is $30.00 and lunch is included. *NFPA CLE approval pending.  Lunch at noon, Session begins at 12:30 p.m.


Attention is a limited resource, so the increased use of cell phones and other in-car technologies raises concerns about road safety. The commonsense reasoning is that 1) driving requires attention, 2) in-car technology consumes attention, 3) there is less attention remaining for the driver so 4) the driver fails to respond, resulting in a collision. While this sequence can doubtless times occur, its likelihood is uncertain. In this seminar, three ways of evaluating the risks posed by present and future in-car technologies will be discussed. One is to understand how drivers normally deploy attention to perform the driving task and then to analyze how and when in-car technologies are likely to interfere with normal driving. The second approach is to compare the risks posed by cell phones and new technologies with existing and widely accepted distractions such as eating, smoking, talking, and playing the radio. The third method is to review epidemiological analysis of accident data that purports to reveal the impact of in-car technology. A close examination of this scientific evidence reveals methodological limitations and an inherent research bias suggesting that the risk may not be as great as is sometimes portrayed.

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