Gadgets in Cars-Trendy, but Dangerous

As mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets become increasingly ubiquitous, our culture is becoming more reliant on these tools. While they offer easy and fast access to information on the fly, the use of these technologies while driving cars can create dangerous situations for everyone on the road. Distracted driving is a big problem and if the trend of connecting cars to the Internet increases, it seems things are only going to get worse.

Today, over at the New York Times blog, it was predicted that the next big boom in mobile devices will be those installed in vehicles:

Cars, one of the great mobile devices to begin with, are about to get connected to the Internet like never before. It will change not just how we drive, but the economics of the car business.

“Five percent of cars are connected today, said Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T’s Emerging Devices business. He was speaking of new vehicles, not all cars on the road. Three to five years from now, 100 percent will be connected. You’ll see diagnostics, calls when the airbag goes off, real-time traffic reports, entertainment in the back seat.

While some of the technology additions will improve safety, such as the real-time diagnostics, it seems consumers are far less interested in the safety features and are instead lured in by distracting tech gadgets, as recently reported in this Milwaukee Sentinel article:

(W)hen it comes to investing in technology that’s designed to make the driving experience safer, Americans admit favoring increased convenience over driver and passenger safety, according to a MetLife Auto & Home American Safety Pulse Poll.

“The most recognized and sought-after technology features tend to be those which promote style over substance, when in reality, it’s the less glamorous features like electronic stability control which make for safer vehicles,” says Bill Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home. “By increasing their understanding of the available safety features in today’s vehicles, consumers can make more informed choices about which cars provide the best safeguards to help protect themselves and their families on the road.”

Installing these new gadgets in cars may increase convenience, but at what risk? Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Texting or otherwise using mobile devices while driving is dangerous and designing cars to facilitate this type of behavior is questionable at best.

Here at the Ankin Law Firm, we’re committed to reducing the number of automobile accidents caused by distracted driving. Please take a pledge not to drive while texting and get a chance to win a new Flip video camera.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 600-0000 and howard@ankinlaw.com.