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Hi-tech Car Dashboards, Distracted Drivers and Fatal Collisions

Car dashboards these days, is there anything they can’t do? From in-built satellite navigation to full-on ‘infotainment’ systems, modern day cars offer a multitude of digital services at your fingertips.

They also offer you something else – a dangerous temptation to take your eyes off the road and put yourself or other people at risk.

UK safety campaigners are worried about a dangerous trend of fatal road collisions being caused by drivers who become distracted when using their car’s digital dashboard.

New cars pack in so much hi-tech kit that they have been described as “living rooms on wheels” by the UK Institute of Advanced Motorists who would like the UK to adopt similar ‘distraction guidelines’ to those recently introduced in the USA, where distracted drivers are to blame for over 3,000 fatal car accidents a year and a quarter of all fatal collisions involving teenage drivers.

America’s new Distraction Guidelines

The US Government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended the new guidelines, which are being phased in throughout the USA over the next three years.

According to the guidelines, when a vehicle is in motion, drivers should be restricted from using certain non-essential digital services, including manual text entry for messaging and internet browsing and video-based entertainment and communications.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that distracted driving is a “deadly epidemic” in the USA and that "combined with good laws, good enforcement and good education, these guidelines can save lives."

UK Institute of Advanced Motorists Chief Executive Officer Sarah Sillars agrees and said that, while car manufacturers strive to incorporate safety features into our cars, they are also “guilty of making us too comfortable – like we were in our own living rooms.”

Sarah continued to say that, “Technology could be a great way of helping to cut the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. It would be a tragedy if technology became a reason why more, rather than less, people lose their lives.”

Road safety should be a priority for the newly appointed UK Government. The growing concern over in-car technology distracting drivers should be high on their list of things to do as continuing to let drivers use in-car digital services without any kind of guidelines or restrictions is unacceptable, especially if people continue to be killed or injured on our roads because drivers are taking their eyes off the road to use their fancy, hi-tech dashboards.

National road safety charity Brake has issued advice on how to avoid being distracted while driving, which includes links to other excellent road safety guides and videos.

Slater and Gordon have a team of expert Personal Injury Lawyers who have helped many people claim compensation after sustaining injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver.

For more information or a free consultation, call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or alternatively contact us online and we will call you.

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