Auto makers are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to make their cars safer. However, some of these developments are better than others. One of the newest features, in fact, might cause more harm than good. While there’s still not enough data, experts are split on whether head-up displays prevent car accidents, or create more of them by distracting drivers from the road.
Head-Up Displays Gaining Popularity
Following in the steps of airlines and video games, car makers have developed technology that projects important driving information on a car’s windshield. Using the same “augmented reality” that played a part in the hugely popular Pokémon game, head-up displays project a lot of the information found on the car’s dashboard on the windshield, instead. Additionally, using exterior sensors, some of the newest head-up displays include safety features that, for example, notify drivers of potentially unseen pedestrians near the roadway.
The results are something out of the future: Speedometers seem to float on the road in front of you, and potential risks are graphically noted in real time.
Do Head-Up Displays Increase Safety or Driver Distraction?
Car manufacturers insist that the whole point of head-up displays is to increase road safety. By projecting important information on a car’s windshield, drivers don’t have to take their eyes of the road to glance at their dashboards. Sometimes, those fractions of a second can make the deciding difference between avoiding a car accident and creating one. Car makers also point out that the display’s other graphics can also point out threats even before they materialize, preventing dangerous driving situations from ever developing.
But critics point out that all of this comes at a cost. Distracted driving is a significant problem on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control, distracted driving accounted for 18% of car crashes that resulted in a personal injury.
“Drivers need to divide their attention to deal with this added visual information,” University of Toronto psychology professor Ian Spence pointed out. According to him, these are the exactly the types of distractions that create accidents. Worse, Spence predicts that “this rivalry for the driver’s attention is most likely to occur when the driving environment is demanding.”
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
The jury is still out on this debate. Head-up displays have the potential to make the roads far safer than they are by giving drivers much needed information in easy-to-see places. However, this same information can also be yet another source for distraction. We’re already inundated with information and things to do while in the driver’s seat. Head-up displays could also make this problem much worse, and create more car accidents than it prevents.
This makes the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office even more important. By legally representing you both in and out of court, we can ensure your rights are protected and your interests pursued following a serious car accident. Contact us online or call our St. Joseph law office at (816) 875-9373.