The wonders of modern technology! They are supposed to make our lives easier but sometimes it seems that they may actually make them more complicated. With increased efficiencies, we naturally put more demands on ourselves. We strive to be more productive, to accomplish more tasks, to stay better connected with others, and to feed our insatiable demands for engaging entertainment. High tech connectivity has expanded (invaded) every portion of our lives, from work to home, from the office to the kitchen, and from our desktops to our pockets, our refrigerators, and even our kitchen sinks. Digital advancements have also affected our vehicles and our driving. Are we safer?
The digital age and its ever-changing landscape have enhanced the safety of our vehicles. From airbags to sensors that help keep us in our lane, to those which allow us to avoid collisions by warning of their proximity or actually applying the brakes, to back up cameras, the improvements to our driving experience have been innumerable. And they continue It appears that we can expect an autonomous driving experience well within our lifetime. Ultimately our highways should become much safer with computers making millions of calculations and assessments much faster than our brains. But what about the interim?
Technology has not just made our vehicles safer but also more comfortable and entertaining. From vibrating, heated and cooled seats, to mood enhancing light shows, to information and entertainment centers that connect with all that our smart phones have to offer, the opportunity for distraction have developed faster than our ability to manage them.
Take cell phones and texting, for example.
The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
But cell phones and our ability to text are not the only distractions that drivers have these days. Such diversions are only part of the problem.
As the improvements to our vehicles “help” us drive, as they assume more of our driver responsibilities, as we become more reliant on technology to ensure a safe driving experience, we become less connected and less aware of our surroundings and their potential hazards. But are drivers still responsible? The question of self-driving car accident responsibility is one that will have to be addressed in the coming years. And the problem is compounding. Letting our guard down or surrendering control to our vehicles also “frees” us up to become even more distracted by the technology, information, and entertainment that surrounds us.
We all look forward to the day that technology insulates us from our own failings, mistakes, misjudgments, inattention, and negligence. But that day is not yet here. Our highways are dangerous places which all too often result in death and serious injury. Our car accident attorneys handle self driving car accident cases and other car accident cases caused by distracted driving every day. We hope you stay safe. But if our car accident lawyers can help, please feel free to call.