TMCnet Feature
September 29, 2020

Tech: How It Is Changing How Car Accidents Happen

There probably isn’t anybody who isn’t aware of how technology has improved the driving experience. After all, many people probably remember the act of folding a map after using it compared with the convenience of today’s GPS devices, and that’s just one example. Technology has also contributed to the number of deaths in auto accidents.

Unfortunately, technology can be a mixed blessing. Features such as smartphones and in-vehicle entertainment systems have been a significant factor in making driving much more dangerous. This is part of the reason for the work of Scott Barnes, Attorney.

Big Technology Increase, Along with Deaths

According to a recent article in the New York Times, from 2015 to 2016, there was a large increase in deaths caused by auto accidents following several years of declines in car crash deaths. In fact, during the first half of 2016, 17,775 people died in traffic collisions on roads in the United States. This was an increase of 10.4 percent over the statistics during the first half of 2015.

This was the largest year-to-year increase in more than 50 years. The Times article attributes this increase to mobile technology, as do many highway safety experts.

Is Mobile Phone (News - Alert) Use the Culprit?

Despite a mobile phone ban instituted by many states, these devices are a major culprit in the increasing accident numbers. The National Safety Council (NSC) recently issued a report that shows a 26 percent increase in auto accidents now that are directly attributed to someone using a mobile phone. Mobile phones have been around for a long time, of course, which does not explain the recent increase in traffic deaths, but PC World does offer one possible explanation: infortainment systems.

Infortainment systems, those collections of devices that come standard on many new cars allow drivers to talk to their car, asking it to make phone calls, change radio stations, enter data into a GPS device for directions, and so much more while they drive, are killing us. Despite the warnings issued by makers, drivers continue to use them while driving.

Less of a Problem?

Although all this technology is often marketed as making distracted driving less of a problem, that is usually not the case. Being able to talk hands-free on the telephone might, indeed, make the device easier to use, but it is still distracted driving. Motorists can still talk on the phone, which devotes some of their brainpower to talking to another person rather than focusing on the road.

According to the NSC, drivers miss about 50 percent of what is happening on the road when they talk on a phone. This should raise a huge red flag that these activities probably contribute significantly to traffic accidents and related deaths. Plainly stated, anything that distracts a driver from what is happening on the road, whether it’s technology or a pretty girl or handsome guy, is a distraction and should, in the long run, be considered an accident waiting for a place to happen. Mobile technology is great, but beyond a certain degree of use, it’s no longer a benefit, it’s a hazard. The bottom line is that, as convenient as many of these technologies might be, hang up and drive. Your life, as well as the lives of others, depends on it.

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