Many modern cars now have what is essentially a smartphone built into the dashboard. While smartphones have brought computers, internet access, texting, and social media into a convenient handheld device, that device has become an increasingly common distraction. Driving a vehicle that weighs many tons at sixty miles per hour is an inherently dangerous activity, and when a driver’s focus is on their smartphone or their in-dash display and not the road ahead, accidents can happen.
Here, we’ll explore how car technology has impacted driving habits and what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe on the road.
Some of the newer car technologies that tempt drivers include:
- In-dash displays
- Smartphone bluetooth connections
- Smartphone mounts
- Holographic windshield displays
- Immersive surround sound
When the ability to scroll through a library of thousands of albums while deciding which streaming service to log into became available on in-dash displays, distracted driving has become more common. Car manufacturers have implemented some safeties to address this, and some features of factory in-dash displays may be disabled. With aftermarket displays featuring video playback, the preferences of the driver are what ultimately will determine the features available.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving killed 3,142 persons in 2019. The organization is leading a national effort to reduce the prevalence of distracted driving in an effort at reducing fatalities on American roads. One of the main distractions that the NHTSA identifies as being a cause of death is the use of cell phones while driving. Texting while driving is a cause of many accidents that could be avoided through exercising greater care.
Using a cellphone while driving creates a level of distraction that causes thousands of accidents each year. Understanding the dangers associated with distracted driving is an important step towards reducing road fatalities in the United States. To this end, a variety of states have established rules concerning cell phone use on the road. Some states require hands-free solutions to use cell phones, while others might discourage even hands-free cell phone use while driving.
In California, according to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, there is a handheld ban while driving, in addition to a ban on texting while driving. Holding a cellphone to speak takes up a hand that could otherwise be on the wheel or used to operate the vehicle, while texting takes up one’s vision alongside a hand or two. Distracted driving can cause car accidents.
If you have been in a car accident and one of the other drivers might have been negligent or even reckless in their use of car technology leading to distracted driving, a personal injury lawyer can help. Damages for a car accident range from economic damages like loss of earnings to non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and a Downey car accident attorney can help you navigate the complex options available to you.