Most Tennesseans do not think twice about safety before starting a journey on the road; after all, the destination is the ultimate goal. However, forgetting basic driving safety precautions can prove highly dangerous, no matter how short the drive. Recent studies have revealed a distraction that has been the culprit behind countless car crashes: high-technology devices.
Last October, The Washington Post speculated on high-tech devices in newer cars and their potential for distracting drivers. According to The Post, most of these devices take roughly 40 seconds to operate — 40 seconds of time in which a driver’s eyes are not on the road. If smart phones were not distracting enough, these devices contain features that allow internet searches and social media interactions, pulling attention further away from the road. Experts claim these infotainment systems could be safer if they came with certain limitations while the vehicle is moving. The warnings of such devices are not unfounded, either; The Post shares that the number of people killed in crashes in 2016 increased by 40,000.
Consumer Reports also expresses concern over high-tech car features, using a 2017 study from the American Automobile Association to show that entering information into navigation systems and texting were the two leading causes of accidents the previous year. The most distracting devices, according to CR, were found in luxury model cars. This information is hardly shocking — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a set of guidelines warning automakers of these dangers years ago. However, CR criticizes the efforts of the NHTSA, arguing that their proposed solutions were antiquated in comparison to new and innovative technology. The use of technology in cars may be here to stay, but CR leaves audiences with the advice to always learn about infotainment systems before hopping behind the wheel.