The days of analog radios and paper maps are long behind us. The surge in technological advancements over the past decades has brought a wealth of in-car tech. infotainment systems, navigation, and built in cameras have drastically changed the way we drive. Cameras allow us to back out of tight spots without fear of being rear ended. Some, more advanced camera systems, will even help to prevent you from colliding with a vehicle that makes a sudden stop. Navigation helps us reach our destination with audible cues, keeping our eyes on the road. Hands free phone technology allows us to communicate without lessening our ability to steer our vehicles safely.
These developments have undoubtedly created a safer driving experience, but they have also increased the propensity for distracted driving. The touch screens that are integrated into all of these systems, can steal a driver’s attention, creating dangerous situations.
Distracted driving is not a new occurrence created by this type of technology. It is more accurately, an attempt to resolve the issue. Since the rise of smart phones, distracted driving accidents have increased. Many states and cities have passed laws restricting the use of handheld devices on the road. Hands free calling and texting are now the legal, and safer, alternative to this dangerous activity. However, when used improperly, these systems can be equally dangerous.
This new technology and the associated risks have not gone unnoticed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2012 they laid out a proposal for manufactures to refer to when designing these devices. Mainly that these devices should maintain a reasonable level of complexity and only display necessary information. They should also not take the driver’s attention for more than 2 seconds or require more than one hand to operate. Following these guidelines is still optional for automakers, since this is only a proposal for change.
Since there are no laws that govern the use and content of these systems, does that leave manufacturers free of liability for accidents that may result? Not necessarily. Court cases surrounding these circumstances are growing, and with them come precedents that will affect the outcomes of future cases. Don’t assume that you are fully liable for an accident, just because one of these devices caused you to be distracted.If you have been involved in any type of auto accident, call the Law Office of Gregory Chancy today at (770) 627-3221