Distracted driving accounts for around 8% of all crashes in the U.S., with cellphone use alone accounting for almost 400 distraction-related fatal car crashes in a typical year. States that have prohibited drivers from holding and using cellphones while driving has helped lower accident rates, yet laws vary from state to state.
Moreover, cell phone use is far from being the only cause of distracted driving. Other behaviors that can contribute to crashes include using GPS systems, talking to passengers, handling children or pets, adjusting music or other aspects of the dashboard screen, and simply zoning out.
Thankfully, technology is stepping up to the game by imbuing cars with unique features that help battle the effects of distracted driving.
New Camera + Sensor Technologies
Even drivers who are below the alcohol limit and who have had a restful night’s sleep can fall prey to sleepiness behind the wheel. Meanwhile, those who don’t drive and entrust their lives to a driver service like Uber can experience an injury or worse if their driver is busy checking the GPS or changing musical preferences. Uber accident rates are actually higher than you may think and are often the subject of legal inquiry.
One University of Chicago study showed that the rate of traffic deaths increased by up to 3% after Uber and similar apps emerged. Whether you are buying a new car or calling an Uber, ensure that the vehicle has the latest Camera and sensor capabilities. Present in the latest models by Honda, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz, these systems use cameras to measure the eye and head movements and sensors to ensure the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel. They enable vehicles to alert the driver (and their passengers) regarding potentially dangerous conduct to ensure safety.
Some of the luxury car brands cover parking sensor systems. Melexis comes with full intelligent observability and a data processing system. Melexis equate all the objective and process various parametric data like positioning, speed, pressure, temperature, current, proximity, etc. to ensure the car and driver’s safety. With a single-button auto parking system, you can park and unpark your vehicle quickly. The ultrasonic sensors and cameras process the sides and rear object so that the car is parked without hitting anything.
Lane Safety Technology
Brands such as Honda and BMW have placed a big emphasis on responsible driving within the correct lane with the best Navigation tools. Their latest models contain a series of features that warn the driver when they are veering into unchartered territories. Lane safety tech includes departure warnings (which advise drivers when they are wandering outside their lane because they are using their phone or manipulating the car screen) and lane-keeping assist tech (which corrects the steering wheel to bring vehicles back into their route).
Cell Phone Blocking Technology
Cell Phones are the main reason for distracted driving. Cell phone blocking apps work to stop a phone from receiving incoming calls, messages, or notifications when a driver is in the vehicle. Some also send a notification to the person trying to call or text the driver to let them know they’re busy behind the wheel. Apps to check out if you are interested in blocking notifications while you’re driving include Apple iOS DND, CellControl DriveID, and AT&T Drive Mode.
Car manufacturers are going to great lengths to reduce the effects of distracted driving on road safety. Some of the most effective new technologies which are hitting their mark include camera and sensor monitoring systems, lane safety tech, and cell phone blocking apps. There are many more features that drivers and passengers can conduct research into, including automatic emergency braking systems, which avoid collisions or reduce their severity by slowing down the vehicle.