Technology is advancing and being integrated into every facet of our lives. Today, everything has some aspect of smart technology. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) of 2016 in Las Vegas saw the unveiling of advanced smart technologies in the auto industry, which included talking cars.
The talking cars revealed in the 2016 CES were developed to prevent accidents by communicating with each other. Not too long ago, modern vehicles were fitted with voice-activated systems. While the vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems allow vehicles to communicate to each other, the voice-activated systems allow you to talk to your car.
Help or distraction?
Voice-activated systems for cars were developed with the aim of reducing incidents and accidents involving distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents today. The Distracted Driving: 2013 Data report from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis revealed that 8 people are killed every day in accidents involving a distracted driver. The report also revealed that 1,161 on average are injured daily in similar accidents.
Voice-activated systems allow drivers to carry out several tasks while keeping their eyes on the road. Drivers can tune the radio, answer or make phone calls and read or send text messages while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Results of various studies however, show that these systems are in fact making the distracted driving problem much worse. A recent study by the researchers at the University of Utah for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers suffered up to 27 seconds of distraction after talking with their cars.
The study’s results are contrary to the popular belief that talking cars will eliminate distraction. The studies also showed that older drivers who invested in these cars are even more distracted than younger drivers when giving commands.
Distracted driving and your insurance premiums
Distracted driving is taken seriously in all states. Although penalties for first time offenses are often light, insurance providers are likely to raise your insurance rates if you happen to get a ticket for distracted driving. This is because distracted driving can increase the chances of a motor vehicle accident occurring. You will therefore be considered a risky driver to insure.
If you are in a state in which a distracted-driving violation results in points being added to your driving record, make a point of going to traffic school. There are some instances when this will prevent the violation from being added to your driving record.
If the points are added to your driving record, you can expect your insurance rates to increase. These points remain on driving records for up to three years in many states. Once the three years have elapsed and the points are dropped, you can expect your insurance rates to drop too.
No matter what your driving record looks like, you can always search for a better deal on your insurance premiums. All you need to do is to use the internet to compare auto insurance quotes. This will ensure that you get the best possible deal in the quickest amount of time, no matter your circumstances.
How to avoid distracted driving
Turn off your phone
Don’t be afraid to unplug while driving. You can turn off your phone to avoid the temptation to answer a text or phone call.
- Let your passenger help
If you have a passenger, let them navigate, tune the radio, or send your text so you can focus on the road.
- Avoid serious conversations while driving
Don’t start a serious or sensitive conversation while driving. It will be easier and safer to concentrate on your conversation when you’re done.
- Limit the use of voice commands
While hands-free commands are supposed to be safer and more convenient, they have the potential to be super distracting, such as when your voice command isn’t interpreted even remotely close to what you said, which in turn causes you to peer into your phone confused, and well, distracted. Limit your use of technology while driving. Keep your mind and eyes on the road at all times.
Distracted driving can result in serious and fatal accidents. When you weigh the risks and rewards, it becomes clear that multitasking on the road will lead you into trouble.