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What are Vehicle Manufacturers Doing to Help Combat Texting and Driving?

Though there has been a powerful public information push to stop drivers from texting while driving, there is little evidence that it has had much impact. When surveyed drivers have acknowledged that they know that they should not engage in this dangerous activity, but also admit to having done so. The incidence of accidents caused by texting behind the wheel is on the rise, and it is estimated that among the teen driver population alone, eleven teens die every day as a result of texting while driving and that 21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted in one way or another by their cell phones. If education isn’t working, is there anything else that can be done? As it turns out that the car companies have taken on the challenge. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are proud to provide you with this information on what vehicle manufacturers are doing to help combat texting and driving.

Nationally and internationally, auto manufacturers are taking the concerns of consumers and safety advocates seriously and investigating new features that not only block text messages from being transmitted while a vehicle is in operation, but also make it possible to receive them without having to actually interact with a screen or take the driver’s eyes off of the road in front of them. Some examples of these innovations include:

  • Ford is modifying its SYNC system to enable it to both read incoming text messages out loud and to have drivers dictate messages to be sent. Additionally, it has introduced a feature that provides parents with the ability to set a block that prevents calls and texts from coming in while the teen driver is operating the vehicle.
  • General Motors is currently developing a technology that monitors the movements of a driver’s eyes and sends both audible and visual alerts when the eyes leave the road. Failure to respond would engage a system where an Onstar representative would activate direct engagement with the driver, and could actually take physical control of the car and pull it over to the side of the road.
  • BMW is investigating technology that would permit drivers to use hand gestures to receive or send texts or calls audibly rather than via texting.

Most of these technologies are designed to accommodate and provide improved safety for the driver rather than to eliminate texting. This is in recognition of the fact that drivers are unlikely to fully comply with the directives to stop the practice entirely.

Whether a vehicle is equipped with these technologies or not, all drivers have a responsibility for exercising care when operating a vehicle. Failure to do so can result in death and injury to others with whom you share the road. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a driver operating a vehicle without paying full attention, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit for negligence. Contact the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for more information.