These days distracted driving seems to be at every turn especially as consumers desire a greater need to remain connected. In response to the dangers of hand-held cell phone use while behind the wheel, many car manufacturers and communications companies have developed hands-free technology to eliminate the danger. While the intent of the hands-free technology may seem helpful, safety advocates maintain that drivers can still be distracted behind the wheel even when engaged in hands-free communication.
According to Torrance personal injury lawyer Sam Johnson, to avoid car accidents, practically all new vehicles have some form of a hands-free communications system. A communications analyst from Edmunds.com says that the in-vehicle hands-free technology has gone from answering a phone call to entering an address in a GPS system by voice or selecting music by voice command. General Motors recently released a product that allows drivers to send and receive text messages and update their Facebook account while on the road. In the near future voice command technology will be at the center of in-vehicle communications technology.
Safety advocate groups including the National Transportation Safety Board are not as excited as consumers about the new technology. Studies have found that texting behind the wheel is just as dangerous as drinking and driving and that a driver who texts behind the wheel is 23 times more likely to get into an accident than a focused driver. Advocates argue that a driver’s duty behind the wheel is not to socialize but to ensure the safety of passengers and other drivers on the road. The National Transportation Safety Board admits that hands-free technology lessens distraction but does not completely eliminate it.