Future CarTechnology: Safe or Distracting in St. Louis, Missouri?
Posted on March 6th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
As the world becomes accustomed to carrying the internet in their respective pockets, drivers are demanding greater options in cars for accessing information. In response to this, car makers have stepped up their efforts to give consumers greater options when driving. While this may be a boon for millenials who are accustomed to having any and all information available at their fingertips, government officials worry that such increases in technology in cars will lead to more distractions behind the wheel.
The iPhone and other smart phones have created a revolution in how information is disseminated, and changed a user’s expectation for just how quickly such information should be made available. With the opening of a particular app, a person can purchase movie tickets, check the weather, make a dinner reservation, or search for bars in their vicinity complete with user reviews. This desire for instantaneous information can make a user feel completely cut off from the outside world when behind the wheel.
To address this, car manufacturers have responded by increasing ways cars can become “smart” and gives user the connectedness to the virtual world as they drive. For instance, Mercedes Benz is developing an “Augmented Reality Windshield.” This windshield will display information on the screen about weather conditions, driving speed, upcoming road conditions, even reviews of restaurants as the driver passes by. Other car manufacturers are working on similar technological advances. While this is still in the very young stages of development, this technology will be coming to a car near you by the end of the decade.
While this windshield could offer some safety tips (road conditions or warning of accidents ahead comes to mind) it’s easy to see how this could pose a problem for other drivers on the road. No one wants to be driving next to the guy watching YouTube videos when he should be paying attention to the road. With this in mind, the Department of Transportation, along with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, has developed suggested guidelines for new technology in vehicles. These include:
- Simplify vehicle-based communication systems and reduce the time a driver needs to use them.
- Design devices that require only one hand and require a driver to divert his or her eyes from the road for no more than two seconds.
- Don’t put unnecessary information in the driver’s field of vision.
- Disable manual text messaging, Internet and social-media browsing, and navigation system destination entry.
While this list is far from complete, it is a good first step in ensuring that safety and technology can be implemented jointly. Because 3,000 people died in 2010 due to distracted driving, it is apparent that there is a pressing need to keep drivers as focused as possible.
Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri car accident attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm want everyone to remain safe behind the wheel. Too often, we have clients speak to our Missouri personal injury attorneys, discussing ways they’ve been injured by distracted drivers. It’s very unfortunate, and these safety issues need to be taken seriously. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, contact a Missouri personal injury attorney at The Cagle Law Firm at 1.800.685.3302 today for a free consulation.
SOURCES: The Republic ; Gas2.org