Distracted Driving Is Not Just On The Road
So you thought that distracted driving was just a problem on the roadways. Think again. What would you say if you knew that pilots were just as distracted by their electronic devices while flying a plane as drivers are on the roadways. Would it bother you to know that your pilot is texting or reading emails when he should be concentrating on flying a plane. Well the FAA is bothered by pilots who are distracted by the wrong technology…. their personal electronics and they have done something about it!
Distracted Driving Isn’t Just On The Roads
With aggressive measures being taken to curb distracted driving on the roads, governments, particularly in the U.S. are looking to put the same resources in an effort aimed at distracted flying. New legislation would not allow airline pilots to use their personal electronics at any time during a flight unless directly relate to the operation of the plane. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) together with the U.S. Congress has made it their mandate to ban all use of personal electronics in the cockpit as a result of an incident in 2009 which saw a Northwest Airline flight overfly Minneapolis airport by 150 miles. The pilots of the flight admitted to being distracted by a personal computer which they were using to review their work schedules.
Transportation safety investigators used an example of a crew member texting before takeoff as in the case of the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Buffalo in 2009. One of the crew members sent a text message just before takeoff. Although the crash was not directly related to the texting incident, safety investigators used the situation to show how personal electronic devices can cause a distraction during critical phases of an airplane’s flight.
The new legislation governing a pilot’s use of personal electronics was passed in February 2014 and put into effect two months later. The legislation prohibits pilots from using electronic devices such as laptops, cellphones and tablets while on duty in the cockpit unless they are required to operate the plane.
As an example, American Airline’s pilots have substituted their paper-based flight manuals with iPads. The new regulation ensures pilots are not involved in non-essential activities and aware of their situation during operation of the aircraft. Whew!!! Doesn’t that make you feel better now as a passenger on a plane! No need to worry about distracted driving pilots anymore!
Now if only drivers realized that driving while distracted also has serious consequences that can equate to missing an airport, a plane crash and ultimately a loss of life. Young Drivers of Canada can’t help the pilots in the air but they can teach their drivers ed students to take driving seriously and avoid the daily distractions on today’s roads!