Distracted driving

Decline in Teen Mental Health Contributed to Late Night Stimulation

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The neurological dangers implicated in overusing our devices are well-established. From the incessant cognitive itching to allay novelty bias to a consistent uptick in distracted driving accidents and deaths to the circadian chaos of excessive blue light, our memory and attention are not the only skills being affected. While no long-term studies have traced these issues from childhood through adulthood—yet—one simple fact is inarguable: too much screen time is not healthy.

Now a longitudinal study of over a eleven hundred high school students in Australia has revealed another disturbing aspect of technology addiction: a decline in mental health.

Poor sleep due to late-night calling and texting is the culprit. The group of thirteen- to sixteen-year-olds saw a stark decrease in performance over a four-year period, from 2010-2013. While previous research has linked the blue light emitted from phones to poor sleep, and sleep is necessary for optimal health and emotional regulation, this study is considered the first to link all three, even though anecdotally teachers have noticed increasing sluggishness in their students for years.

Not only was educational performance hindered. Important social skills were also diminished, says Lynette Vernon, lead researcher of this study at Murdoch University in Perth:

The outcomes of not coping – lower self-esteem, feeling moody, externalising behaviours and…

3 reasons we’re not ready for autonomous cars

Many auto manufacturers, tech companies, and legislators predict that by 2021, self-driving cars will take to the roads, further accelerating the future of transportation.

Before that happens, one topic that needs further attention is the evolution and roll-out of self-driving technology. Today, many cars offer some form of self-driving capabilities — all of which require constant driver attention — and in many cases there is a gap between what drivers think the car can do and what the car can actually do.

Here are three things the public needs to consider when it comes to the self-driving conversation.

1. The stages of self-driving are varied

Klashwerks recently conducted a survey that found 74 percent of respondents are familiar with the term “self-driving car.” However, many people don’t realize there are various levels of self-driving cars, ranging from semi-autonomous to a fully autonomous car that won’t require the attention of any driver. For instance, Tesla’s autopilot feature falls into the Level 2 category: It lets the cars accelerate, maintain lane positions, and change lanes without input from the driver — but the human must keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Level 4 cars, on the other hand, are nearly autonomous; many auto manufacturers have their sights set on this, even in the short term.

2. Semi-autonomous isn’t foolproof

While many people want a future that’s autonomous, we need to take a step back and evaluate the progress so far. Early tests of self-driving, driverless, or semi-autonomous vehicles have resulted in some accidents, such as Google’s self-driving crash, Uber’s self-driving cars running red lights or driving in the wrong direction, and Tesla’s autopilot accident that killed its driver. Significant moments…