You have seen enough public service announcements and warnings to understand the dangers of texting and driving. Not only are you resolved to keep your precious passengers safe, you may also have an example to set for the future drivers in your car. That’s why you make sure your cell phone is out of reach while you drive.
Like many who have made this pledge, you may be keenly aware of other drivers whose eyes are on their phones while they drive. However, recent studies have shown that cell phone use is dropping as the number one distraction for drivers. In fact, despite putting your phone away, you may be allowing dangerous distractions right before your eyes.
Infotainment is the new distraction
Even while auto manufacturers improve airbag technology, braking capabilities and stability in vehicles, they continue to add dangerously distracting features to the dashboards, steering wheels and even windshields of new models of cars. While many of these devices are hands-free or require minimal touch, experts disagree that these factors make them safe for your car.
With the touch of a finger or a voice command, you can tune your entertainment center, make a phone call or search the internet to see what movies are playing. However, simply making these functions easier does not mean they are safe for a driver to do while operating a vehicle. Tests have demonstrated that even voice activation takes your eyes and mind from the road for a dangerously long period of time.
Where am I going?
The riskiest activity you can do behind the wheel of a car may not be sending or reading a text message. In fact, studies now show that programming and activating your navigation system takes your eyes off the road for an average of 40 seconds. Considering that your chances of being in an accident double after only two seconds of distraction, you can see why researchers are concerned about the proliferation of navigational devices in vehicles.
Technology exists to disengage navigational systems and other distracting infotainment features while a car is in motion, requiring you to pull over to use them. However, only a small number of auto manufacturers are including this technology in their latest models.
Trouble all around
You may be surprised to learn that texting is the cause of only about 5 percent of car accidents. Another 21 percent of accidents result from drivers talking on their phones, and that includes hands-free devices. While you may congratulate yourself for driving responsibly with your phone out of reach, countless other Georgia drivers present a real danger to you and your family. When a distracted driver crosses your path and causes you suffering, you have the right to explore your legal options.