Monthly Archives: October 2010

Engage Readers, Distract Drivers

Any editor wants to create compelling content. On the highway between Newark, N.J., and Manhattan recently, we had a good indication that our friends at the Financial Times have reached a new level of reader engagement. While I drove, my wife, Lauren Shay, shot some photos. This driver mostly kept his minivan in his lane as he used two hands to hold the weekend section of the FT.

Newspapers are not the only distractions for drivers. Below, on the same trip, are Lauren's photos of other drivers who used the time to talk, eat anad text. Please note that texting takes two hands, too.

Freeway driving

(Photos by Lauren Shay Lavin)

This year, Matt Richtel of The New York TImes won a Pulitzer Prize for his carefully reported series Driven to Distraction. Texting while driving had been an issue from Texas to Michigan and from coast to coast. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Bloomberg he wanted to reduce temptations that would distract drivers:

“I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving,” LaHood said in an interview this week. “We need a lot better research on other distractions,” including Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calls and the in-car systems, he said.

What will LaHood do when he finds out drivers are reading newspapers, too? Right, he'll tell them to get Google cars, that drive themselves. 



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