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April 1, 2015

Distracted, Bloody Fool!

In a head-to-head race against time, the laborious pace at which public policy evolves is no match for the Usain Bolt-like speed of technological change: For example, would a ban on handheld devices be applicable to the new Apple Watch? To remain relevant, our public policies on distracted driving may need to sidestep the specific technologies and focus instead on such measures as eyes-on-the-road. Over time, new technology will solve the distracted driving problem that technology created. Eye-tracking devices mounted on the dash or rearview mirror will monitor the driver's mental state for signs of distraction, and will sound an alarm. Eventually -- 10 to 20 years from now -- self-driving cars will enable us to text to our heart's content. But, until technology provides the ultimate fix, the carnage on our roads will continue, and may even grow worse before it gets better. But it doesn't have to.

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