According to a series of news reports, lawmakers are looking into the many factors that eventually lead to distracted driving and what can be done to tackle the real issues.
A one-day summit that will focus on identifying safe technological solutions for drivers and cell phone use was hosted by Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman. During the event, National Safety Council Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives exposed the major issues associated with the presence of infotainment systems in newer vehicles and how these technologies might increase the risk of distractions.
According to the address, voice-operated technology present in in-car infotainment systems might pose a major risk precisely because the integration between smartphone features and the car’s systems may cause drivers to be exposed to unnecessary distractions. Recent studies suggested that when the driver is using voice-to-text features to text message or email someone, they are just as distracted as when they are using a handheld phone to do the same. The problem is not associated with the handling of the phone but the fact that their focus is entirely concentrated on dictating the contents of the text or email. Cognitive distractions can make drivers oblivious to the risks surrounding them.
While safety experts believe that technology could be developed to actually maintain drivers from multitasking while behind the wheel, they still think that automakers and software developers haven’t done enough to address the risks associated with the highly advanced infotainment systems.
Every day in the United States, 100 people are killed in auto crashes. At least 90 percent of those fatal accidents have something to do with distractions. Data shows that distractions may have played an important part in the increase in the number of accidents in the past year. Automakers are being urged to collaborate with phone and software companies in order to offer options that will make all systems safe for drivers who are operating their vehicles.
Hopefully, drivers of all age groups will benefit from a major change to the way the industry looks at infotainment systems and the integration of these features to smartphone technology. Drivers are urged to put their phones down and keep in mind that the road ahead should be the only thing they focus on while driving.
For more information on the risks that infotainment systems can pose to you and others, follow this link to read the full article.