Years ago, buying a new car meant kicking the tires a couple of times, looked under the hood, and then asking the salesman, “How does she ride?” Now when you shop for a new car, looking under the hood makes no sense at all considering what you see looks absolutely nothing like an engine! In fact, newer cars are more like computers on wheels.
In an effort to make cars safer, smarter, and more efficient, carmakers are now integrating all kinds of new technology into vehicles, including everything from automatic braking to parking assistance systems. Sensors, lasers, cameras, crash warning systems, blind spot alert systems, and collision avoidance systems are now common. Many cars even have built-in voice-activated infotainment systems so that drivers don’t have to use their hands to change the radio station or answer a phone call.
While all of this technology is useful, it can also be highly distracting, especially when a driver is unfamiliar with how to use it properly. After all, how many people really take the time to curl up with their car’s instruction manual? Unfortunately, many drivers experience a false sense of security thinking that they cannot possibly get into an accident in their smart car. Cars may be getting smarter, but nothing replaces an attentive and defensive driver.
The bells and whistles in smart cars are there for safety, but too many high-tech features in cars today can be very distracting – especially for older drivers. Older drivers, in particular, may take longer to adapt to new technology, and therefore may be at greater risk for a distracted driving accident. When chimes sound and dash lights begin to blink, a driver may stop looking at the road and stare at the dashboard display to try to figure out what is happening with their vehicle.
Currently, the federal government, auto industry, and the auto research community are looking at the increased potential for driver distraction from an abundance of beeps, computerized voices, chimes, flashing dashboard lights, and vibrating steering wheels. In the meantime, drivers of all ages who purchase smart cars are encouraged to invest the time necessary to familiarize themselves with their vehicle. The dealership where you purchased the vehicle can help with this, so don’t hesitate to ask!
If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, we encourage you to get in touch with an Atlanta car accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Trusted in Atlanta since 1977, our experienced team knows what it takes to obtain maximum results. Call Kaufman Law, P.C. today for a free consultation.