Recently, activists and parents have been speaking up on the dangers of distracted driving, using PSAs and popular TV shows like Glee to warn drivers of all ages. If a study from market researcher ABI is to be believed, though, the battle against distracted driving is uphill, barefoot, and through torrential rain.
Distracted driving is the all-encompassing term which includes talking on the phone, texting, or surfing the internet while driving. The answer isn’t as simple as outlawing cell phone use in the car, though. New touch-screen technologies in vehicles could also be considered distractions, and ABI’s projections predict that more than 60 percent of cars will be “connected” by 2017. Never mind getting teen drivers off their phones, imagine disconnecting cars from new technology. All those anti-cell phone laws will be worthless when people have a myriad of distractions built into their cars.
Of course, there is another way to look at this trend. Some of these new technologies allow for cars to communicate with each other and avoid collisions, and many people see “connected” cars as a step towards self-driving vehicles. People won’t have to worry about being distracted drivers because in the future, they won’t be driving at all. Until then, some of these “distractions” have safeguards built in to keep the driver safe, such as Ford’s SYNC and MyFord Touch system with driver stress test. The system measures the driver’s vitals, and when they show signs of stress or the road conditions worsen, all outside distractions are lessened. Incoming texts and calls through Ford SYNC are disabled, and the driver can better focus on safe driving.
Readers, we want to know what you think! Are these new technologies an asset and a step towards a brighter driving future, or are they a distraction that will endanger other drivers on the road? Leave a comment below, and let us know what you think!
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