Wednesday 21 February 2024

New car tech to address the distracted driving epidemic

There are no two ways about the fact we’re an easily distracted generation. In many ways, you could say this is down to technology. No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’re liable to pick up our phones and swipe through social media.

And, despite laws to the contrary, this lack of concentration can also be seen on the road. While the law dictates you shouldn’t use a mobile behind the wheel, a shocking amount still do. In fact, 62% of people admit to reading a text while driving. Worse, 44% admit to sending one. As if that weren’t enough, 1 in 6 male drivers under 25 have crashed due to mobile phone usage. Admittedly, distracted driving did drop by 2.2% last year, but it’s still at its worst. And, drivers and pedestrians are at real risk because of it.

If you fall foul to a distracted driver, don’t hesitate to call Brauns Law and others like them to fight your corner. If you want to ensure you aren’t responsible for something like this, it may be worth upgrading your vehicle. Car manufacturers are aware of the distract driving risk and are introducing safety features to improve matters. Read on to find out what they are.

Voice recognition

Admittedly, many infotainment systems pose risks of distraction. But, these systems were introduced to improve in-car safety. And, many incorporate voice recognition for that reason. Using systems like Apple Play or Google Android Auto, users can do everything from controlling GPS to reading texts. All without using their hands. Understandably, then, this is becoming a staple in vehicles. Mercedes are even developing their voice recognition system, Linguatronic. There’s a risk voice assists will prove a further distraction for some, but they at least stand to reduce phone usage behind the wheel.

Forward collision warning

Manufacturers such as Mazda and Chevrolet are also getting on top with forward collision warning tech. This alerts you if a vehicle is up front and you aren’t stopping. Where distracted driving is concerned, this is good news indeed. For added safety, it’s worth pairing this with automatic emergency breaking. This feature does what it says on the tin and is set to be a standard car feature by 2020, with manufacturers like BMW and Volvo already installing this in new designs. These two paired together could go a long way towards reducing distraction-based accidents.

Lane-departure warning

Slipping into another lane is a real risk of distracted driving. When that happens, a terrible accident could be imminent. But, lane-departure warning addresses this issue. With this, your car will warn you any time you veer from your lane. In some vehicles, you can also get lane-departure assist, which will right your vehicle. Though, it’s worth bearing in mind that there’s still room for error in systems like these. For instance, it doesn’t always allow for pulling out to let cyclists through and such. Even so, we’d say it’s a technology worth looking out for in the future.

** This is a collaborative post

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