06 Oct Are the Gadgets in Our Vehicles Causing Car Accidents?
The sheer plenitude of tech gadgets in the average modern-day automobile has led to many of them being called “smart vehicles”; with the self-driving car already a reality in some cities, the trend is only growing.
Generally speaking, these gadgets are usually on your daily quality of life; however, recent research is showing that, by taking your attention away from the crucial task of road navigation, all the technology could be endangering your safety.
What Do the Numbers Say?
In the US, the Automotive Fleet released numbers that show that 40% of car accidents in the States result from distractions during driving. Ostensibly, the culprits in these are likely a combination of texting, Smartphone-talking, looking at the GPS or other onscreen devices while trying to navigate through traffic.
To respond to this, many states have passed legislation that forbid the use of portable handheld devices while driving – the overwhelming majority of states do not allow texting while driving, whereas a handful merely have restrictions on texting while driving through school zones and the like. Teenage drivers, in particular, are prohibited from having cellphones out while driving; there are well-defined stipulations even for adults who are caught using one and given a ticket. The ticket can be rescinded if the driver later shows that she had a hands-free device.
In the United Kingdom, the numbers show that over 300,000 motor-vehicle accidents have happened as a result of in-car GPS systems; one case in Germany illustrates how: a driver crashed on the famous, high-speed Autobahn while looking following his GSP directions instead of watching the road.
Ensuring Your Safety in the World of Smart Technology
You can expect more stringent rules to come regarding vehicles and gadgets, given that even more automation is on the horizon. In the meantime, it takes a combination of good judgment, restraint and tech savvy instincts to make sure your gadgets are working for you – instead of against you and other drivers – on the road. Whenever you can, opt for the voice-activated and voice-controlled alternatives when using communication and navigational aids to significantly cut down on accidents that result because of lack of concentration.