Abels & Annes

New Technology Aims to Curb Driver Distractions and Prevent Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere

Connected cars could soon be flooding our roadways in an attempt to reduce the risks of Chicago car accidents. But wait! Safe driving advocates are worried that the technology within the new smart cars will require complex interactions between multiple software and service providers, according to Forbes. As drivers purchase vehicles in the coming years, they will be directed to configure their vehicle via the Internet. This configuration will offer the vehicle a number of enhancements and alterations, including desktop and mobile Web portals and smartphone apps. Through this update, drivers would integrate their smartphone with their vehicle system and will be provided with a safety-focused link for driver services.
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This system comes with some expected complications as services become more complex. Safe driving advocates cite the range of entertainment and information services that can be accessed through the smartphone as potential driver distractions. It’s no surprise that drivers are already engaging in these activities as these devices have become expressions of our digital selves. They have the ability to capture and communicate our trips and travels and the success of this technology is reflected in the rate of accidents caused by distracted driving.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that many motorists anticipate the new technology; it can be used to reduce unwanted service trips and increase gas mileage. These smart cars will also come with additional safety services, such as crash notification and roadside assistance. But all these features serve as potential distractions to drivers.

While self-driving vehicles aren’t in our immediate future, they sure are on their way. Some believe that this emerging vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology could be the key to preventing accidents.

That form of technology uses wireless communication between vehicles, traffic signals, speed detection radar and smartphones to detect when other vehicles are dangerously close and may cause a serious accident. When the technology senses these dangers, it warns drivers so that they’re able to avoid the collision. The vehicle can even activate brakes automatically if the driver fails to respond.

“I just don’t think the America public is ready for a driverless car,” says National Highway Traffic Safety Association Administrator David Strickland. “I’ve ridden in Google’s car and it is fantastic, but it is not foolproof.”

To get the technology to our roadways as quickly as possible, the U.S. Department of Transportation is conducting extensive research on the systems. They estimate that the technology could prevent up to 80 percent of potential accidents.

“We are extremely encouraged by the research, analysis of the safety data, and the ongoing work that all point to vehicle-to-vehicle as the next major safety breakthrough,” said Strickland.

Until driverless vehicles become the norm, drivers will no doubt welcome the new smartphone features. When the car is in park, the vehicle will enable full smartphone access. During this time, a driver can interact with apps and cloud services via vehicle resources, including a smart display screen and knobs. Upon moving, the vehicle will turn off screen images that cause distraction. It will take it even one step further though, by shutting down all touch controls and requiring voice commands while in the vehicle is in motion.

While manufacturers continue to push new technology for safer roadways, we must remember that there is nothing safer than alert and focused driving habits as computer systems and other technological advancements are not free from malfunctions. Keep your eyes and ears on the road and curb potential distractions to help avoid a fatal car accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Connected Cars: Moving Into The Fast Lane, by Leo McCloskey, Forbes
Smarter vehicles can play a bigger role in making up for driver distractions, by Greg Gardner, Indystar.com
More Blog Entries:

New Report Focuses on Causes of and Solutions to Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere, Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, August 6, 2011

Proposed Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Legislation Aims to Reduce Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere
, Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2011