Smart technology – it’s all around you. If you own a smartphone, you use smart technology every day. People now set appointments, check their email and track their fitness progress on smartwatches. For years, drivers have kept up with traffic reports and navigated easily with the help of GPS in their cars. Manufacturers have now started to implement wireless Internet-ready vehicles to keep people logged on wherever they go. With all the car accidents from texting while driving, what effect will new gadgets in our cars have as we stay connected on the go? If we do not use caution, more gadgets will cause more distracted driving and will result in more car accidents.
Smart Gadgets in Today’s Vehicles
Get inside just about any new car on the market today, and check out the dashboard. It looks like a visual computer display that belongs in “Star Trek.” Even Google has pushed for Android touch-screen monitors on the dash to keep drivers connected to their music, contacts and other information. Many of these gadgets, such as advanced GPS displays, help people on the road. In fact, of 220 million vehicles in the U.S., nearly 7 percent have GPS.
Do GPS devices and other gadgets cause driver distraction and accidents on the road? Though there are no firm numbers to show how often navigation systems cause car accidents, they do happen. For example, a driver in Germany obeyed his navigational device and crashed on the Autobahn. The U.K. estimates that 300,000 accidents have occurred because of navigational systems in cars. Automotive Fleet says that nearly 40 percent of accidents in the U.S. are caused by distracted driving. With new gadgets in our cars, how do we prevent distracted driving and still use them to our advantage?
Using Smart Technology the Right Way
If you see a touch-screen display, you automatically want to interact with it. If it’s on your dashboard, you should concentrate more on driving. In reality, having a smart gadget in your car, such as a touch-screen audio player, shouldn’t be any different than having a traditional electronic device. You’ll need to use good judgment and awareness when using any device in your car.
Fortunately for drivers, many of these new gadgets have voice-activated features, allowing you to change the station, dial home or check your email without taking your hands off the wheel. Smart gadgets can enhance our driving experience, but they need to be used responsibly.