Reduce Distracted Driving with Cobra

October 20th, 2013 | Cobra Electronics | Chicago, IL

The City of Chicago began implementing red-light cameras in 2003 to increase safety on Chicago streets. After 10 years of measuring program outcomes, results have indicated the program is effectively changing motorist behavior. They have found that:

"Dangerous angle crashes were reduced by an average of nearly 30% when a high angle crash rate intersection was equipped with red-light cameras."

More good news was recently announced when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that they would be removing red-light cameras at 18 intersections where cameras:

"Have succeeded in reducing right-angle crashes caused by running red lights."

Although these are successful outcomes, there is still more to accomplish. The City of Chicago also acknowledged an increase in rear end collisions at red-light camera locations, and the city still catches drivers running red lights. To lessen such occurrences, distracted driving needs to be addressed.

Reduce Driver Distraction, Increase Intersection Safety

Driver Distraction GraphSince 2012 Cobra has supported the National Coalition for Safer Roads annual event, National Stop on Red Week, that promotes intersection safety. The group conducted a study that looked at 118 intersections with red-light cameras, in 19 communities, over a 3-month period, titled Stop Distraction on Red: The Effects of Distracted Driving on Intersection Safety. The study measured the amount of red-light violations caused by driver distraction and determined the type of distraction occurred. The study found that 12 percent of violations had some sort of distracted driving involved, outlined to the right:

Most intersections with red-light cameras are labeled with signs, a recommended practice of the Federal Highway Administration, indicating photo-enforcement. But if drivers fail to notice the signs, the cameras fail as a deterrent. Or worse, drivers fail to notice another car or pedestrian. The additional audio alert provided by the Cobra iRadar demands drivers’ attention and can help reduce the 12 percent of Red-light violations caused by distracted driving.

In addition to the audio alert feature, the newest Version 3.2 of the Cobra iRadar® app is designed to further reduce all types (not solely intersection safety) of distracted driving by:

  • Increasing the amount of reported driver threats by expanding the iRadar community
  • Reducing the amount of phone-related driving distractions

Increasing Safety Through Numbers

The latest Version 3.2 of the Cobra iRadar app now allows iOS users who do not own an iRadar detector to receive user-generated threat alerts. Users can purchase a subscription to the Cobra Community of radar and laser alerts, including access to the AURA® Database of Speed and Red- Light Cameras, through the iRadar app for a modest fee ($4.99/month or $49.99/year). In previous versions these alerts were only available to those who purchased an iRadar detector. This change has significantly expanded the user network— creating a safer commute, with more alerts, generated by and for more users. The iRadar app has more than 40,000 user generated reports per day and nearly 1 million users— making it the largest and most active detection community in the world. Additionally, the 3.2 iRadar app version displays a distance countdown to the location-based or user alert so the user knows of the precise threat location as they approach.

User Generated Alerts

Reducing Phone-Related Driving Distractions

Additional improvements to Version 3.2 are designed to reduce phone-related driving distractions. (As the study above pointed out, cell phone use was responsible for 39.2% of red light violations committed by distracted drivers). Version 3.2 simplifies use of the iRadar with other iPhone apps. It is common to run a music app in addition to using the iRadar. The new music control feature in version 3.2 allows users to play, pause and skip music tracks on your phone right on the iRadar app screen, eliminating switching and scrolling between apps to access music controls; which can take drivers eyes off the road. If you are running a non-music app at the same time as the iRadar app, iRadar will run in the background and send the driver visual alert banners as threat notifications, also eliminating the switching between apps. 

This current iRadar app update is only for the iOS devices. If you have an Android device, the Cobra JoyRide is another product designed to reduce phone-related driving distractions.

Reducing Phone-Related Distractions with Cobra JoyRide for Android

The Cobra JoyRide for Android™ is a Smart Charger, Button and Free App combo that is designed to help drivers reduce phone-related distractions. Along with helping drivers fight the urge to text, the Joyride also addresses other distractions such as scrolling to find apps, searching for or switching through music or even launching your GPS, etc., by launching a fully customizable ‘driving mode’ when you get in your car and connect to the device. 

Driving- mode features include:

Reply to incoming phone calls and texts automatically— set up automatic replies while the Cobra Joyride is connected. It will only reply to each phone number one time.

Launch apps and commands with one-touch of a button— launch between apps, make one touch phone calls, launch voice commands, and pause and play music.

Cobra JoyRideCobra JoyRide Features