With an increase of Technology everywhere we go, one place that stands out above all others, your vehicle. While your daily driver may be a simple car that gets you from home to work and back, many other vehicles now have a large increase in the amount of technology in them.
With the increase in Hybrid and all Electric vehicles, a major change is to come for the automotive industry. The infotainment system is evolving in front of our very own eyes, but is it truly for the better?
The infotainment system is the in dash system that stretches from your gauges behind the wheel to the radio and the AC system. The infotainment system has a few different jobs, from informing the driver of the vehicle’s health and speed, to keeping the driver and passengers entertained while on a trip.
Changing from the original buttons and gauges has many advantages. Having a digital dash could mean that you have an exact representation of how fast you are going. The addition of cameras around the vehicle means that you get help with parking your vehicle, going in reverse, and having less blind spots.
More sensors built in the vehicle mean there are lower chances of getting into an accident, and less people can get hurt by lowering the amount of accidents. More technology in the vehicle’s engine signifies that the engine is more efficient, and it uses less fuel each trip that is being made.
More vehicle efficiency means a smaller carbon footprint that’s made by these fuel consuming vehicles. An even larger step is having Hybrid or all Electric vehicles. These cars do not need fuel to move since they do not have an internal combustion engine.
Most vehicles nowadays have a large screen instead of a radio. The traditionally large number of buttons and knobs have now been replaced by a screen with a computer behind them. This by itself causes an arousal of many concerns, one being that drivers can be distracted by these screens while driving.
In 2015 alone, there were 3,477 total deaths caused by distracted drivers, 3,196 total fatal car accidents, and 391,000 injuries. In 2019, there were 3,142 lives claimed by distracted drivers.
These statistics come from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration which also estimated that there were about 660,000 drivers using electronic devices while driving.
What does this mean for new technology in our cars? It means that a large screen catches our attention and can keep our eyes away from the road.
According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the majority of drivers today use at least one form of infotainment system in their vehicle. Distraction can be visual and cognitive. The foundation found that each of the in-vehicle technologies require semi-high demand from the driver. Truly a step in the wrong direction of safe driving.
So what can we do to avoid a distracted driving accident? Avoid using your phone while driving, if anything you should turn it off to avoid distractions, have someone else with you who can control the infotainment system, avoid holding any food or drinks while driving, pull over if you have to use your cell phone or change GPS directions. Doing this will decrease the chances of you getting into a car accident and most importantly, it will keep your eyes on the road.
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Napolin, A. (2019, September 30). Car accidents caused by in-vehicle infotainment systems distraction. Retrieved March 24, 2021.