Some New Tech Ups the Chances for Distracted Driving – Safety

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Some of today’s cars have over 200 multifunction buttons, one or more touchscreens, voice commands, and head-up displays — all of which can contribute to driver distraction, experts say. - Photo via pexels.com/Erik Mclean

A few of right now’s automobiles have over 200 multifunction buttons, a number of touchscreens, voice instructions, and head-up shows — all of which might contribute to driver distraction, specialists say.

Picture through pexels.com/Erik Mclean

The proportion of drivers speaking on handheld telephones decreased from 2.9% in 2019 to 2.6% in 2020, in response to the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA). Nevertheless, it’s harder to find out what number of motorists are making Bluetooth-enabled hands-free telephone calls whereas behind the wheel.

A latest report from Progressive factors to Bluetooth and different new automobile applied sciences that could be handy however aren’t essentially secure. The truth is, some new tech options could make drivers much less secure.

Take into account, for instance, information from Progressive’s Snapshot program, which makes use of an app or plug-in gadget to personalize automobile insurance coverage charges primarily based on driving habits. It discovered that 99% of enrolled drivers used their telephone at the least as soon as whereas driving in 2020. The upshot: If research present that solely a small proportion of drivers are utilizing handheld telephones, a lot of them have been possible making calls utilizing hands-free expertise.

That’s an issue, specialists say, as a result of even hands-free calls are a type of cognitive distracted driving.

Dr. David Strayer, a professor of cognition and neural science on the College of Utah who runs the Utilized Cognition Lab and conducts distracted driving analysis for AAA, says a telephone name is a telephone name, and it takes the identical quantity of psychological effort whether or not or not it’s hands-free.

However Bluetooth isn’t the one perpetrator that’s including to distracted driving. For instance, head-up show (HUD) programs undertaking info, like pace and gas, onto the windshield. Producers declare that this tech reduces distraction and retains drivers’ eyes on the street.

Strayer says it will depend on what’s being displayed. Collision or blind-spot warnings about some potential hazard are helpful. However the programs additionally enable for texts to pop up — which is only a harmful distraction.

Lastly, in-vehicle infotainment programs are flashier — and probably extra hazardous — than ever. These elaborate in-dash programs enable drivers to entry navigation maps and telephone operations. In addition they exchange the knobs and dials used for radios, local weather management, and different automobile options. In a car with a touchscreen, altering the radio station or turning up the A/C can require extra actions than simply the flip of a knob.

Most lately, some automobiles — together with several Tesla models — even enable drivers to play video games on the dashboard-mounted display screen whereas the car is in movement.

Some 3,142 individuals misplaced their lives to distracted driving on the nation’s roadways in 2019 alone, in response to NHTSA.



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