Hi-tech, automated car features are proving to create distractions for drivers. In Las Vegas, where visual distractions are common, hi-tech auto features are increasing the risk of auto accidents seen by a car accident attorney Las Vegas.
Today’s drivers are looking for dashboard navigation systems, touchscreen radios, DVD players, and voice automated controls. While these systems can improve the driving experience, there are concerns that they contribute to distracted driving accidents.
Dashboard Navigation Systems
Many drivers use voice-activated GPS systems to make reaching their destination easier. Research indicates that GPS systems can take a driver’s focus off the road for up to three minutes. Programming a GPS while driving is equivalent to reading an email or sending a text message. To avoid auto accidents, researchers suggest that drivers:
- Program the GPS destination before driving.
- Ask vehicle passengers for help to change the route or look for a location. If there are no passengers, pull off the road to operate the system.
- Do not mute the GPS device while driving. Muting voice commands increases the number of times a driver’s eyes will leave the road.
Touch Screens and Automated Controls
Car manufacturers insist that touch screens and automated controls make driving safer, but these features have created automobile safety concerns:
- Touch Screens offer no tactile feedback. Drivers must take their eyes off the road to find the right section of the screen.
- Automated Voice Controls don’t always obey commands. Drivers often try to reprogram while driving.
In 2016, the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show introduced SMARTwheel technology that alerts drivers when distracted driving is detected. It’s a steering wheel cover that monitors a driver’s hands on the wheel. Visual and audio alerts are delivered in real-time if a driver has both hands off the wheel; one hand off the wheel for too long; or both hands too close together, which often indicates cell phone use. SMARTwheel connects via bluetooth and is one of the latest technologies in use to prevent distracted driving accidents and injuries.
In Nevada, where distracted driving laws are some of the strictest in the county, a car accident attorney Las Vegas sees violations of laws that often result in accidents and injuries to teen drivers. Recently, a startup business in Las Vegas, Text Safe Teens, introduced a smartphone app called Drive Safe Mode that blocks the use of a cell phone when the app senses that the car is moving.