Advances in-car technological features are a mixed blessing – they can reduce or increase the risk of car crashes, depending on how they are utilized by drivers. Some advanced technological features, like automatic braking, significantly reduce incidences of car accidents while others, like adaptive cruise control (ACC), increase car crash risks, especially when misused.
Impact of Smartphone Use on Driving Performance
A 2006-study published in Accident Analysis and Prevention journal found that cellphone use impairs driving performance. The study found that cellphone use while driving caused attention lapses, increased traffic violations, and slower response time. Smartphone use takes away a driver’s focus from the road and increases the chances of car crashes. National Safety Council (NSC) reports that around 26 percent of all car accidents involve a person on his or her phone.
Hands-Free Technology Dangers
Most new cars are now installed with various infotainment systems. The systems allow drivers to give commands to their vehicles, such as changing music or putting addresses to their car GPS to get direction. What’s more, drivers can integrate their phones with their cars, enabling them to perform various phone functions.
NSC warns that infotainment systems pose safety risks, as they encourage drivers to interact more with the new technology in the car. These systems are marketed as effective in preventing distracted driving because they are hands-free. While drivers can talk without looking or holding their smartphones, their brains are still distracted and can miss crucial information. In fact, NSC reports that a driver could miss about 50 percent of what’s happening around him or her while talking to the system or a caller.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study found that drivers using the ACC system have a 10 percent higher risk of getting involved in fatal crashes. These deadly crashes happen because drivers misuse the technology by setting their cars to travel faster than speed limits. With proper use of in-car ACC systems, drivers can significantly reduce car crash risks.
A driver should avoid over-relying on any advanced technologies installed in his or her car. A driver injured in an accident caused by another driver who could have been distracted by car features like an infotainment system can file an injury claim against that driver. A car accident lawyer can review the facts of the accident and obtain evidence that would help demonstrate the defendant’s negligence.