New and improving technology in our vehicles has led to all kinds of upgrades in terms of driving safety- blind spot warning systems, automatic braking with radar detection, updated airbag systems, to name a few. Not all new technology, however, has been beneficial or as accepted in this regard. In particular, the new trend among auto manufacturers involving the implementation of large, tablet-like dashboard displays in almost all new vehicles has been the source of controversy over vehicle safety and the responsible use of technology while driving.
Car companies suggest that these oversized dash displays, which often times behave more like smart phones than the traditional dashboard, are actually safer than the design of older cars due to features like integrated voice controls that keep the driver’s hands on the wheel or the large touch screens for tasks like navigation that are easier to manage than trying to fumble with a smartphone (not to mention the fact that these kinds of new features will almost certain boost manufacturer revenue). But the questions remain- how much technology is too much in our cars? How connected should drivers be out on the road? Do we really want drivers or passengers checking social media posts or uploading photos while navigating rush hour traffic?
The dangers of texting and driving are all too familiar to personal injury lawyers who see the devastating effects technology can have when drivers aren’t devoting their full attention to the roadway. These large dashboard displays are just the newest distraction coming to our cars, and we’re sure to see an uptick in the number of wrecks caused by this technology as it becomes more and more commonplace. Unfortunately, our lawmakers are generally slow to adapt the law to changes in technology, so regulation over the use of these kinds of systems will likely be a topic of debate for years to come.