When New Technology Means Taking One Large Step Backward
New and improved is not always better. Car manufacturers are increasingly developing new gadgets and toys to install in motor vehicles. These gadgets typically take advantage of advances in communication and audio/video technology to provide a more entertaining drive.
More cars, trucks and SUVs are now coming equipped with DVD players, GPS devices, USB multi-media connections, onboard computers to facilitate e-mail and web surfing and countless other clever and distracting gadgets. What many automakers are failing to consider is that the mere fact that they have the capability to install these new devices and gadgets, and that they may help sell cars, does not mean that it is a good idea to do so. These are exactly the type of driving distractions that account for a substantial number of traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in car accidents throughout Georgia on an almost daily basis.
Admittedly, some of these devices are better than others. A GPS navigation system that relies primarily on voice commands may actually reduce the number of accidents because drivers are not preoccupied with trying to read directions or a map. It would seem there can be absolutely no justification for an in-dash DVD player because these are usually installed in the middle of the dashboard so that they are equally visible to the driver and passenger. We believe this type of serious driving distraction should either not be installed in motor vehicles at all or should only be visible from the passenger side of the vehicle. Even the best driver poses a terrible accident risk if they are trying to watch a movie and drive at the same time.
The danger is magnified with driving distractions like Internet access and e-mail. These types of communication devices involve not only a visual distraction but also distract a driver mentally and physically. Vehicle technology should result in cars, trucks and SUVs getting safer rather than more dangerous. The increasing trend to install this type of technology in vehicles, though convenient, will invariably continue to cause a growing number of serious motor vehicle accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia.
Distracted driving remains one of the most serious causes of motor vehicle accidents, as well as accident-related injuries and fatalities. Distracted driving results in approximately 5,500 deaths per year and another 450,000 injuries according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The situation is even more disheartening because a growing number of states, including Georgia, have enacted laws aimed at reducing the prevalence of distracted driving, such as bans on text messaging and restrictions on cell phone use while driving. These new forms of technology that are increasingly being installed in vehicles may be undercutting these legislative attempts to reduce distracted driving. It will be up to legislators to act in providing restrictions and guidelines for the appropriate implementation of this new technology in motor vehicles. One solution that has been suggested by some is that onboard computers and similar technology be automatically disabled when the vehicle is moving.
The bottom line is that these vehicle innovations will continue to claim lives until steps are taken to address their impact on driver attention. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident with a distracted driver in Atlanta or anywhere throughout Georgia, the experienced Atlanta distracted driving attorneys at Montlick and Associates may be able to help you obtain the financial compensation you need to rebuild your life and move past your accident. Our Atlanta distracted driving lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, 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. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.