New Accident Risks Emerge as Automakers Amp up Technologies in Cars
Getting people to switch off their cell phones while driving has been hard enough, but 2010 promises even more distractions for motorists, and greater risks of accidents. This year, automakers plan to roll out a number of cars with infotainment systems mounted on the dashboard. These systems include 10-inch plus monitors that allow users to access the internet, read restaurant reviews, look at 3-D maps, watch high definition video, and monitor fuel levels, most of this via touch screen technology.
Automakers insist that these systems are safe because the more distracting functions like internet access will not work if the car is moving. However, most of the other functions are available to use through touch screens. It’s part of a wider trend of vehicles coming equipped with all the features that we have come to accept in our smart phones. It also promises a massive headache for the Department of Transportation, and agencies around the country that are struggling to minimize cell-phone related risks. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has already made clear his displeasure at these new high-tech features, and has promised that he will discuss the issue.
This trend is wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin. Atlanta personal injury lawyers believe that these developments signify the auto industry’s greed for profits, by cashing in on a tech-hungry public’s desire for the next fancy gizmo. At a time when automakers should be focusing on making cars that are safer for teen motorists and senior citizens, it has been hugely disappointing to see manufacturers loading cars with more gadgets that will increase the risk of distracted driving.
There is no reason why a motorist needs to read a restaurant review or access a web page while he is in his car. Those activities must be restricted to the home or office. Trying to convert your car into an extension of your home or office can have potentially devastating consequences. As Atlanta auto accident lawyers, we have appreciated the major safety strides auto companies had made in recent years, and yet, these new infotainment systems simple take all that good work 10 steps behind.