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Dashboard distraction

Cars serve a dual purpose in modern life. They’re a tool to get from Point A to Point B, but they’re also high-tech possessions for pleasure rides and comfort. For many, they’re a showcase of modern technology and a status symbol.

As cars adapt more digital and wireless features, it’s important to remember their main purpose of transportation. They’re heavy vehicles that speed down highways at inhuman speed. The average midsize sedan weighs over 3,000 pounds and Georgia’s speed limit ranges between 55-70 mph. With even a minor distraction or sudden movement, the combination of speed and weight is a deadly combination.

Dashboard distraction

The CDC reports that nine people die each day because of distracted driving crashes. More than 1,000 more are injured. It’s well known that smart phones and wireless technology have changed how we drive. Now, carmakers are working to make sure the technology is implemented in a safe way. New touch screen dashboards include wireless technology. AAA warns that, even if the manufacturer installs it, that doesn’t make it safe.

In a AAA study, drivers aged 21 to 36 tested various infotainment systems in new model cars. The findings were striking. Breaking the data into four levels of “user demand”-- which translates to driver distraction -- 30 vehicles were tested. Zero placed in the “low demand” category, just seven placed as “moderate” and the remaining 23 ranked as “high” to “very high.” Some dashboards even allow text messaging and social media use from the driver’s seat. Operation of many of the touch screen programs can occupy driver attention for over 40 seconds. To keep perspective, taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can cause an accident.

Responsibilities of the road

Cars play a vital role in our lives, which is why it’s important to keep them as safe as possible. While vehicle design and easy-to-use technology is important, safe behavior behind the wheel is ultimately the driver’s responsibility. Technology has improved our lives in many ways, but there are serious consequences when drivers fail to meet the responsibilities of the road.

Distracted driving crashes cause severe injuries: broken bones, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, even wrongful death. An accident doesn’t just cause physical pain. A crash may cause sleep problems, depression and high stress levels. The costs go well beyond medical treatment: they include time away from work, lost time with friends and family, and pain and suffering.

Rest and recovery are essential for body and mind. Anyone injured in a crash should seek medical treatment immediately. In addition to confirming your health and letting yourself recover, an attorney can help you analyze the full extent of damages, from medical suffering to other, harder-to-identify costs from the incident.

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