Car manufacturers are attempting to address the dangers of distracted driving and help consumers avoid accidents by adding new safety features to their vehicles. By acknowledging the role of distracted driving, car manufacturers have taken proactive steps to target this dangerous practice.
Distracted Driving Dangers
Today’s average consumer is much busier than consumers in previous generations. Drivers are often balancing jobs, families and social obligations. They may be mentally multi-tasking while also encountering a number of additional mental and physical distractions in the vehicle, including conversations with other passengers, navigational systems, radios, road signs, eating and drinking. One of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is cell phones, which often take a driver’s hands, eyes and mind off of the roadway, making them more susceptible to being involved in a serious accident.
New Safety Features
New technology may minimize the effects of distracted driving. Some of the new safety features equipped in this year’s models include:
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane departure warning
- Blind spot monitoring
- Adaptive cruise control
- Forward collision warning
- Pedestrian and object detection
Many of these safety features are designed to help drivers who may be distracted or may have lost focus on nearby traffic and dangers. This technology is being added to vehicles at every price level rather than only equipped on luxury cars. Some features come standard while others can be added for an extra price.
Some of these safety features are expected to significantly reduce the risk of car accidents. For example, automatic emergency braking may reduce accidents by up to 40 percent and prevent as many as 28,000 automotive crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Currently, this technology is available in many models that sell around $20,000. Due to the success of this particular technology, several auto manufacturers are volunteering to add this safety feature to most new vehicles by 2022.
Despite the recent focus on the dangers of distracted driving, these patterns continue. Sometimes driving behavior does not shift until mandatory laws impose change. For example, the “Click it or Ticket” campaign caused more people to buckle up. Currently, more than 90 percent of vehicle occupants wear their seatbelts.
When distracted driving leads to a serious accident, a car accident lawyer may be contacted to explain what legal options are available to help the victim recover the damages he or she sustained.