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What If We Were All “Engaged” Drivers?

State Farm launches new safety initiative

Today’s drivers are challenged with demands on their attention by numerous devices and activities that may distract them from the task of driving. And every day, each of us makes conscious decisions that impact our safety while we drive.

How do we manage these risks effectively? What behaviors are the most critical to a safe driving experience? And how can we encourage drivers to take personal responsibility for adopting more of these safety-conscious behaviors?

Engaged Driving occurs when drivers actively devote sufficient attention to actions critical to safe driving. It’s our goal for all drivers to have this level of engagement at all times. That’s why State Farm chose to name this safety effort the “Engaged Driving Initiative.”

When it comes to tackling safety issues, at State Farm we employ the Research to Action business model. The  Engaged Driving Initiative will be no different.

We will first consider if there are research gaps we need to address in order to truly understand the problem. Once identified, we will engage in the research, enabling us to better understand the full nature of the issue of distracted driving. This will ultimately help us develop solutions that will improve safety for everyone who shares our roadways.

Distracted driving is a very complex issue, and there has been a great deal of research conducted to learn more about the problem. Some research involves in-vehicle cameras, others use driving simulators. Some experts do observational studies while others study crash data or conduct surveys.

We believe there is value to studying distracted driving from all these perspectives.

Based on our success with past safety initiatives, we knew our Engaged Driving research had the best chance for success if we reached out to others with a broad range of perspectives and areas of expertise. But how best to identify and reach the people and groups with the most to contribute to this effort?

For this, we turned to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM). As an international, multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to motor vehicle crash injury control and prevention, AAAM was the perfect partner to help us bring together a panel of experts to identify the current state-of-the-science and identify gaps needing further investigation.

Engaged Driving Symposium: March 31, 2014

To launch the Engaged Driving Initiative, and in recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, State Farm sponsored the Engaged Driving Symposium in Washington, D.C. on March 31, 2014.

The AAAM with support from State Farm, gathered a panel of top experts representing a broad range of expertise in the field of safe driving. The panel spent the past year preparing research reports on the latest science around distracted driving. At the symposium, they told us where there are gaps that need further exploration.

These experts shared their findings at a small, professional Engaged Driving Symposium on Monday, March 31st, in Washington, D.C. We made the symposium available to everyone in a free, live webcast during the event.

The full symposium is also available on-demand: Engaged Driving Symposium (March 31, 2014, Washington D.C.)

The symposium coincided with the release of a special issue of the AAAM journal, The Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, containing peer-reviewed papers authored by this group of experts. The full journal or individual papers can be downloaded for free at www.aaam.org.

Employing the Research to Action business model, State Farm is using the body of research contained in the journal and presented at the Engaged Driving Symposium to guide us in our next steps toward tackling the dangerous problem of distracted driving.

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