The Danger of Hands-Free Texting with Infotainment Systems
Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers Warn of the Danger of Hands-Free Texting with Infotainment Systems
Technology can make our lives easier and safer, but sometimes advances in electronic gadgetry make us less safe. Recent advances in Bluetooth hands-free technology have persuaded some states to repeal their universal bans on text messaging while driving. The new law would permit hands-free texting via a Bluetooth device. This liberalization of the rules against cell phone use while driving comes after a recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) advocating a complete ban on all cell phone activity while driving, including calling and texting. In this blog article, our Georgia personal injury lawyers note the dangers of easing cell phone texting bans to accommodate infotainment systems in new vehicles.
This trend is a response to technology in many new models of vehicles, referred to as "infotainment systems." In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems operate based on voice commands that permit drivers to control the stereo system, read and sale emails, surf the web, text messages, and engage in a multitude of other tasks. Infotainment systems mitigate the crash risk posed by physical distractions. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that the types of mental distractions associated with infotainment systems remain a serious traffic safety threat. This step backward in traffic safety in some states ignores a significant body of evidence that hands-free use of cell phones is no less dangerous than handheld use. Some states, such as California, have limited cell phone calling behind the wheel to hands-free calling. But the National Safety Council reports that over thirty studies have concluded that bans on handheld calling do not reduce the number of distracted driving car accidents related to cell phone use.
There is no reason to believe that hands-free texting is any safer than hands-free calling. Text messaging is considered more dangerous than cell phone calling. Studies have shown it to impair driving ability to an extent comparable to a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent (i.e. the legal limit for DUI). Further, the challenge of having speech recognition software translate a text message might mean drivers are more likely to glance at their display and attempt to correct inaccurate speech recognition manually.
The decision to allow hands-free texting in California is even more surprising because car accident data indicates that the state's ban on text messaging was having a significant impact. A study by U.C. Berkeley's Safe Transportation Research and Education Center found that traffic-related fatalities had decreased by 22 percent when comparing the two-year period before and after the ban on texting while driving. The fatality rate for car accidents blamed on handheld cell phone use fell by nearly half during the same years of comparison. Given the body of evidence suggesting that the ban on text messaging was saving lives and preventing personal injury, it is hard to justify easing restrictions on this dangerous form of driver distraction.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Collision and Injury Case!
If you or a loved one have suffered injury caused by a distracted driver, you may have a right to seek financial compensation. Our experienced Georgia personal injury lawyers tenaciously strive to obtain the fullest compensation within the bounds of the law for personal injury and wrongful death victims. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over 35 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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