Researchers into driver safety and possible causes of car accidents are concerned after having conducted two recent studies on hands-free devices. These include smartphone applications and integrated car entertainment or information systems. Accident specialists say that distracted driving has become a huge cause of injuries and wrongful deaths on the roads in recent years. They attribute this to driving while talking on a cell phone, texting while driving and fiddling with radios or MP3 players. The studies looked at the effect of technology, such as Apple’s Siri system or the integrated voice-activated systems currently being placed into several vehicles made by various car manufacturers. The systems are meant to allow drivers to text while driving, change radio stations or even send out Facebook postings or Tweets while keeping their eyes on the road. The investigators noted that while the technology does help drivers keep their eyes on the road, it has not helped with keeping the driver’s thoughts and concentration on the road. Not only did these cutting edge systems not prevent distracted driving, it may very well have contributed to the problem. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explained that the studies suggest that drivers need to concentrate even more on their cell phones and in-car computer systems due to the complexity of the devices. The intricate instructions and procedures needed to make the devices work properly may end up being the cause of a car crash or injury, even when the driver of the vehicle is watching the road. A top New York accident lawyer warned that drivers, car manufacturers and technology developers must each take responsibility for the health and safety of other motorists, pedestrians, and bicylists as well as themselves. Ignoring the significance of these landmark driver safety studies can prove dangerous, even fatal, and can open them up to a personal injury lawsuit. Read the full version of the distracted driver safety study here.
Illustrative photo by Intel Free Press [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons