Distracted drivers of automobiles, then and now…

The problem of distracted drivers—a problem honored years ago by two Ig Nobel prizes—continues to worsen, suggests Jonathan Gitlin, writing in Ars Technica:

Multiple studies show no improvement in distracted driving
Distracted driving is worst in the Northeast, best in the Midwest

Many people have tried to attacked the problem, some for better, some for worse. Two of those efforts have been rewarded with Ig Nobel Prizes.

Driving While a Flap Repeatedly Covers the Driver’s Eyes

The 2011 Ig Nobel Prize for public safety was awarded to John Senders of the University of Toronto, for conducting a series of safety experiments in which a person drives an automobile on a major highway while a visor repeatedly flaps down over his face, blinding him. Details are in this publication and in the video below: “The Attentional Demand of Automobile Driving,” John W. Senders, et al., Highway Research Record, vol. 195, 1967, pp. 15-33.

Driving While Watching Television

The 1993 Ig Nobel Prize for visionary technology was awarded jointly to Jay Schiffman of Farmington Hills, Michigan, crack inventor of AutoVision, an image projection device that makes it possible to drive a car and watch television at the same time, and to the Michigan state legislature, for making it legal to do so. Schiffman documented his work, in US patent #5061996A.