Smartphone held up in car for navigation.

Are Our Smart Devices Interfering with Safe Driving?

Experts agree that our smart devices are interfering with safe driving because they distract us. On the bright side, technology can also provide a solution to the problem it created. A California car accident attorney can help you go after compensation if you get hurt because a driver’s smart device interfered with the safe operation of the vehicle.

The Scope of the Distracted Driving Problem

Every day, Americans get injured and killed because of careless drivers who get distracted while behind the wheel. You do not have to drive far to see other drivers talking on their cell phones, texting, and using gadgets like GPS and the car’s “infotainment” system. It can be terrifying to look in your rear-view mirror and see the driver behind you looking at his cell phone instead of the road.

How Technology Can Help Solve the Problem of Distracted Driving

Some carmakers employ more voice-controlled items in the cars so that a driver can, for example, ask the navigation system to look for the nearest gas station or fast-food restaurant without having to take his eyes off of the road. 

Some safety experts point out that the hands-free options do not eliminate all distractions that smart devices can cause. For example, if you are engaging with the navigation system to look for a coffee shop, you are not giving the road your absolute attention. Also, a system that reads your text messages to you is better than having the driver read the messages on the cell phone, but his mind will still be on the substance of the message while he listens and responds to it.

Another solution that some auto manufacturers use is to disable certain devices while the car is in driving gear or moving. You might not be able to type an address into the navigation system until you pull off of the road and put the car into parking gear. Some people object to this limitation, since a passenger could safely operate the device while the vehicle is traveling. Until we have a way for these devices to determine who is a passenger and who is a driver, however, the restrictions will likely remain in their current form.

Driver Assist Technology

Some of the more promising technological advances that can enhance the safety of traveling by car are variations of driver-assist technology. Let’s say that a driver gets distracted by changing the radio station and starts to drift into another lane without realizing it. A car equipped with driver-assist technology could alert him to the fact that the car is leaving its lane before he sideswipes someone or runs off of the road.

Other life-saving forms of driver technology include emergency stop systems (ESS). An ESS can detect when there is not a safe distance between the vehicle and the car ahead and apply the brakes to avoid a crash. 

Some upcoming systems intend to sense whether a driver has experienced a medical emergency, is drowsy or is impaired for some other reason. The vehicle will carefully paper writers get the car to the shoulder of the road and stop forward progress. Other alert systems will detect when a driver looks away from the road as another car comes into his path and signal the driver to stop.

If you got hurt because of a distracted driver, you might be eligible for compensation. Contact us today. Our California personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the claims process and pursue the money damages that you deserve.