Distracted driving has been a serious issue all through the year. But long before 2017, distraction had already begun exposing drivers of all walks of life to serious risks. Unfortunately, distraction may happen because drivers are using their phone, because the are talking to passengers, or because they are busy with in-car technologies. And as it appears, distraction may be getting even worse as in-car entertainment options are now being expanded, making accidents more likely to occur.
New technologies designed to read out your text messages and allow you to use voice-to-text feature to respond are being added to cars, and they are not only of the luxury kind. As the technology even allows drivers to stay connected to their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, the features become even more popular. Still, the features make cognitive distractions more likely, increasing the risk of accidents.
While many states do not have any rules against hands-free use of cell phones and other technologies, groups such as the AAA have done studies that show that the use of voice commands and other voice-to-text technologies are actually dangerous and sometimes just as risky as the use of handheld phones.
Unfortunately, automakers and other tech developers don’t seem to worry much about the consequences of these technologies, prompting us to question why consumers aren’t demanding better and safer options. Perhaps, that’s simply because consumers are often OK with trading safety for more communication-related features.
With the holiday season finally here, it’s important to remember that even distractions that do not involve using your hands can cause you to lose control over the vehicle.
As you drive to get to your family or friends for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, remember to stay away from your in-car technologies so you’re not putting your life and the lives of others in danger.