A common consensus amongst road safety experts is that the increasing proliferation of smart devices among drivers is mostly distractive and affects safe driving. Funny enough, all the problems caused by these smart devices can also be solved by other smarter devices.
The Extent of The Tech-Fueled Distracted Driving Problem
Distracted driving is an increasingly common cause of accidents on American highways which has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries over the recent past. Indeed, if you go to any highway – major or minor – across the country, and look closely at the traffic, you will note one or two drivers either talking over their phone, texting, or listening to music or podcasts over their car’s ‘infotainment’ system, all while driving.
The use of navigation systems, like Google Maps and GPS is also common among drivers new to a certain area. And while our roads still remain safe for the most part, it can be quite unnerving to glance at your rear-view and see the driver behind you bent over their smartphone instead of facing the road.
Using Technology to Counter Distracted Driving Problems
As part of their contributions towards reducing road accidents, car manufacturers have come up with newer technologies aimed at keeping drivers more focused on the road even when interacting with smart gadgets. One of the innovations is hands-free devices that enable drivers to do things like taking calls or contacting navigation systems using voice prompts, which allow them to keep their hands and eyes on the road.
Nonetheless, these voice-controlled systems have their fair share of critics, some of whom argue that despite not taking away the driver’s physical attention, hands-free devices are still mentally distractive. For instance, having your texts read out loudly by Alexa or Google Siri still requires you to listen, comprehend and possibly respond to the content. That basically means you will stop focusing on your surroundings for a few seconds at the very least.
In an attempt to fully eliminate the distraction (on the driver’s side), some car manufacturers have designed dashboards systems that won’t work while the car is in motion. For instance, in certain cars, you can’t enter an address into the navigation system until you engage the parking gear, which basically means you have to pull off the road first. Of course, there are some objections to such systems, with the argument being that passengers can, and should be able to, safely interact with assorted devices even as the car is moving. But then again, how do you determine who is the driver and who’s the passenger?
Driver Assist Technology
Driver Assist Technology (DAT) is arguably the most promising way to prevent accidents from distracted driving. The key facet of the technology is the dynamic alert system, which alerts the driver as soon as he starts deviating from his lane, which could be a sign that his mind is on something else.
Emergency Stop Systems (ESS) is another amazing tool for enhanced road safety. These systems typically stop the car when they sense the possibility of a crash, such as when it gets too close to the car in front.
All said and done, there is a good chance that you could get caught up in an accident caused by a reckless and distracted driver. The good thing is, you would be due for compensation if that happens. Hiring a good car accident lawyer to represent you in court further increases your chances of a successful claim.