Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pediatrics recently discovered that Alabama parents living in suburban areas were more likely to use cell phones in some form while driving their children more often than parents living in rural areas.
The state is all too familiar with distracted driving, an epidemic that has claimed lives and caused countless injuries.
The study compared cell phone habits of 150 parents while transporting their children and used a model previously published by researchers in New Haven, Connecticut.
Parents were asked to fill out a 10-question survey that focused on parental driving behaviors.
Surprisingly enough, the survey results revealed that a full 90% of English-speaking parents living in the Alabama suburbs with children under the age of 18 reported using cell phones while driving, as compared to only 86% of parents meeting the same requirements in rural areas.
In addition to having a child under the age of 18, parents who filled out the survey must also have had a valid driver’s license and a cell phone.
While researchers at the University of Alabama are looking into ways to stop car crashes from happening, Alabama-based Mercedes-Benz U.S. International puts them through the test of a lifetime before they hit the streets.
Banked curves, bumpy asphalt, slick straightaways, and skid pads are simply a few of the many obstacles that new models are put through before they’re sent out for sale.
The goal is to simulate a wide variety of driving conditions in order to assess the maneuverability, toughness, and overall quality of the vehicles tested.
Although the tests don’t put vehicles through the same stress and stunt work that demolished approximately 300 General Lees on the set of “Dukes of Hazzard,” they’re fairly rigorous.
“Everything must be checked, and these test tracks are an important step to ensure the highest level of quality,” said Andreas Ogger, a quality manager at the testing facility.
All of the parents who filled out the University of Alabama’s distracted driving survey will also be tested to assess their driving habits.
Each of the parents who participated was required to undergo educational intervention to prevent distracted driving and potentially fatal accidents in the future.