The recent debate between a government safety agency and automakers offers more proof that distracted driving in any form is dangerous driving.
When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested last month that car manufacturers voluntarily restrict drivers from using dashboard-installed cell phone, texting, internet and other wireless devices while their motor vehicle is in motion, automakers suggested this would only encourage drivers to use their even more dangerous handheld devices. The NHTSA wants manufacturers to install technology in their vehicles that will automatically disable these distracting in-dash wireless devices once the car is shifted out of park. Though GPS devices would still give directions in a moving car, the driver would be unable to put in an address without stopping the car. Next year, the administration plans to call for technology restricting drivers from using handheld devices in a moving car, but automakers are suggesting both plans be initiated simultaneously to discourage drivers from reverting to their handheld cellphones.
According to car manufacturers, in-dash voice-operated devices are safer than their handheld counterparts, but hands-free technology can be just as distracting, according to experts. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed in automotive accidents involving distracted drivers, an NHTSA study estimates.
As a San Jose personal injury lawyer, I know all too well how much damage is caused when motorists take their eyes and minds off the road ahead. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident with a distracted driver, please don’t hesitate to contact an experienced San Jose auto accident attorney.