Dawkins & Gowens Law Firm

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Is there a link between new car technology and rising accident deaths?

Every year is a competition to beat last year's new vehicle technology. Vehicle makers show off their new model's latest features such as touch-screens and voice-activated technology. Fun and sometimes frustrating, these features could actually be the cause of increasing roadway accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited that car accident fatalities have jumped 10.4% in just the first half of 2016. This jump in fatalities is only added to the sudden rise in accident fatalities in 2015. The increase has many analysts wondering the cause for rising roadway accidents. The answer might be inside your own vehicle.

Vehicle makers are offering increasing technology to make cars more like phones. They now come equipped with touch screens, GPS navigation, voice technology, and hands-free calling. Car makers are hoping that while these features boost sales they also decrease texting and driving. Although texting and driving has been proven dangerous, new car technology has not yet been deeply studied for its distraction levels.

New hands-free technology might be a dangerous distraction

Although your fingers are off the buttons, hands-free technology is still mentally distracting. A study by the University of Utah measured the distraction levels in common driver distractions. They studied the distraction level of the radio, audio books, talking with passengers, and hands-free technology. It was found that talking on a cell phone with hands-free technology induced a moderate increase in cognitive distraction in comparison with the other distractions, while texting with speech-to-text technology was the biggest cognitive distraction of them all.

The problem with hands-free technology is that it is a newcomer to users and is error-prone. While trying to call or text someone a driver can become frustrated with the device as it types the wrong word or calls the wrong person. These frustrating errors might be in part the cause for the upsurge in motor vehicle accident fatalities. If you have been injured or if a loved one has passed away due to a distracted driver then make sure to contact an attorney. You would be eligible to gain compensation for your losses.

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