Technology: A Deadly Distraction to Drivers

Distracted drivers are the one thing no one wants on the road. For some of us, driving is the most dangerous thing we do everyday, and distracted drivers only make it more dangerous. For students in driver’s education, the one second they feel distracted could lead to the end of their lives as well as another’s. According to an article from  Business Insider, distractions in the car such as phone calls and texting, are a direct result of  the modern technology implemented into our cars.

Modern technology has made its way into the car industry. Cars now include touch screens, voice commands, writing pads, and over fifty buttons that allow the driver to make phone calls, texts, and change the radio station all while driving. These are known as infotainment options. Infotainment options allow the driver to still be able to talk to others while still “devoting attention to the road”.In the  Business Insider article, Jake Nelson, AAA’s director for traffic safety advocacy and research, said “drivers testing all 30 of the 2017 model year cars and light trucks took their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel while using infotainment systems. The test drivers used voice commands, touch screens and other interactive technologies to make calls, send texts, tune the radio or program navigation all while driving.” This single second of driving could be the time where a yellow light changes to a red light or a jaywalker crosses the road. Drivers need their full attention on the road, not on adjusting their radio systems using new infotainment options.

For teenagers on the road, answering texts and calls are the biggest distractors. Although voice commands help us communicate while driving, this aspect of the car ends up not benefiting the driver as much we would like to believe. While using voice commands helps keep our eyes on the road while driving, the interactions between us and the screen in the car negates the benefits of the infotainment systems. Interactions include programming built in GPS systems while driving and sending text messages. Although many adults are guilty of this action, improvements can be made to make driving as safe as possible once again.

AAA has taken action in trying to make the roads safer for new drivers as well as the “veterans” of driving. The association has urged automakers to block the use of programming the GPS and sending text messages while driving. This would not allow the driver to interact  with the infotainment options while driving at dangerous speeds. In addition, if you’re sitting in the passenger seat of a car, help out. Program the GPS for the driver. If it’s okay with the driver, answer the text message for him or her. We should be doing as much as possible to make driving a safe method of transportation rather than making it the most dangerous part of our lives.

Modern technology has only caused more distractions on the road. Although recently this technology is causing more harm than safety, technology will develop to the point where driving is safer than it has ever been. For example, rear cameras and warning sounds help a driver back up safely. Although students are expected to be using modern car dashboards, we should be making driving safer for everyone. When driving alone try to limit the usage of infotainment options.

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