Can New Car Features Cause Distracted Driving Accidents?

Every year, new smart devices are created and used by millions of consumers. Devices such as smart watches, phones and sunglasses are released with dozens of distracting applications. Even car dashboards are becoming computerized, allowing consumers to connect to the Internet, play music and take phone calls.

Many smart vehicles with display screens utilize voice commands to help improve driver safety. For example, the 2016 Honda Accord comes with Apple CarPlay, allowing motorists to use smart phone apps. Drivers can use the apps for navigation, messaging and phone calls. The Audi A3 dashboard can display Tweets.

However, not all apps are bad. Some developers want to create apps that can warn about bad driving behaviors.

Dashboard Display Screens May Contribute To Distracted Driving Accidents

According to a neurologist at the University of Utah, it takes four seconds to read the average text message on dashboard display screens. Even though many of the features used by dashboard display screens utilize voice command technology, apps can still require users to look down to complete tasks.

The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration has found that even taking eyes off the road for 5 seconds at 55 mph can be extremely dangerous, as motorists can cover the distance of a football field without watching the road.

In a AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety study on teenage drivers, it was discovered that interacting with other passengers contributed to the highest number of distracted driving accidents. More research will need to be done to figure out if the same can be said for interacting with smart devices. Most states have not yet created legislation regulating the use of smart technology in vehicles.

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