We’ve highlighted the dangers of texting and driving on our website many times. The statistics are dire: you are 23 times more likely to crash if you are texting and driving than if you are not. But what if your car could read a text or an email to you? What if texts could show up on your dashboard? What if you could respond without picking up your phone? All of these concepts are now becoming a reality in a number of cars. From Chrysler and GM to BMW, integrating mobile apps into cars is the newest trend.
BMW plans to allow for text-to-speech capabilities to read emails and texts outloud, and to allow for dictation by the driver. GM plans for similar functions, claiming that this is what consumers want. Our phones house our lives to a great extent, and people don’t want to be away from them during their commutes.
But does the desire for such capability mean that carmakers are being responsible by providing it? Yes, having a text message or email pop up on your dashboard is probably safer than a driver picking up his phone and clicking through emails while driving. However, even if the hands are still on the wheel, the eyes and the mind are still distracted from the road. Mental distraction can be just as dangerous as physical distraction, and there is no way around the fact that receiving, composing, and sending emails and texts are dangerous.
The safest route is still to focus on the road, both physically and mentally. We venture to bet that as important as that text message may be, it is not as important as making it to your destination in one piece. Whatever the message might be, if it is so important that you must take it, pull over, deal with your phone, and get back on the road only when you can commit your full focus.
We would always rather help you avoid an accident than help you after you’ve been in one. But if you have been in a car accident, allow our car accident attorneys to help you. Contact Kirkendall Dwyer LLP today for your free case review.