Over the last decade, the amount of technology put into new cars has been steadily increasing. With increasing technology comes an increase in the number of things that can distract a person in their car. Whether it is air conditioning controls, the radio, music players, GPS or voice activated devices, the devices and technologies in our vehicles all have one thing in common, distracting drivers.
The federal government is hoping to change how long these devices distract drivers. The Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are constructing guidelines for car manufacturers to use that could help reduce the amount of time people spend doing tasks other than driving, hopefully reducing car accidents. The agencies are recommending that tasks with devices in a car should require no more than two seconds to complete.
In 2011, the number of people injured by distracted driving related accidents was around 387,000. Approximately 3,000 people were killed. While these guidelines might help reduce distractions, they are only guidelines and not requirements. Even if these devices meet the guideline specifications, people could still be distracted with these devices for a much longer period if they are unfamiliar with the use of the devices.
The driver of the car has a primary responsibility in ensuring their vehicle is operated safely. That means not being distracted. Even taking eyes off the road for a split second could result in a car accident. If a person is injured in a car accident, they might be wise to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help them understand their rights.
Source: CNN, “‘Two second’ safety guideline for cars of the future,” Mike M. Ahlers, April 24, 2013