Media sources reported that the upcoming Frankfurt auto show has many people interested in the newest ways they can stay in touch while on the road. However, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has voiced concerns over the increasing amount of distracted driving-related accidents because of these innovations.
According to one report, the question “What’s under the hood?” has become less and less important to consumers when purchasing a new vehicle. The query for many prospective buyers has now shifted to “What’s in the dash?” With the increasing popularity of smart-phones and their ability to keep vehicles connected to the Internet, many consumers are basing their decisions on these new online features.
Jeff DeBest, group vice-president for global electronics at Johnson Controls Inc, said, “More of the value of the interior is being built around connectivity.”
Carmakers are desperately trying to stay ahead of consumer demand for features like smart-phone interfacing, data downloads, email communications and display monitors connected to backup cameras. But while buyers may see these features as adding value, safety regulators think of them as more distractions from the driving.
The NHTSA reported that they will make a decision in 2013 whether or not to mandate in-car connectivity features in the effort of preventing collisions caused by distracted driving. In 2009, 5,474 people died in car accidents due to driver distraction.
As a Roseville car accident lawyer, I understand the inherent dangers in adding more distractions to our vehicles. I hope that a comfortable medium can be reached between innovation and safety. If you’ve been injured in an accident that you think was caused by another’s distracted driving habits, it may be in your best interests to speak with a car accident lawyer in your area.