New Technology Expected to Reduce Distracted Driving

Person using cell phone while driving.The annual Consumer Electronics Show opens in Las Vegas on Jan. 7 and reports indicate that Google and carmaker Audi plan to unveil a jointly-produced device that could make distracted driving a thing of the past. The unnamed technology would build smartphone-like devices directly into vehicles. The devices would allow drivers to download the entire universe of Android apps and would be activated and controlled by verbal commands. That means drivers would have little use for the cell phones when behind the wheel.

Technology experts say drivers could access navigation, pull up downloaded songs, or even dictate and send emails all without taking their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. Cars would likely be equipped with high-speed LTE connectivity, which would also allow drivers to stream content like videos and movies to other monitors in the car.

The new technology is viewed by many as a response to Apple’s “iOS in the Car” technology, which was announced in June. Apple has partnered with Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and BMW to install iOS devices into car dashboards. The iOS device would allow drivers to verbally complete many of the same functions they can perform on their Apple phones and tablets.

An auto industry analyst said that only 200,000 “iOS int the Car” vehicles will be sold in 2014. However, that number is expected to grow to 7.5 million in the United States and approximately 25 million by 2020. The analyst added that 70 percent of new cars will come with either Apple, Google, or similar technology by the end of the decade.

The new technology could provide a solution to a troubling and growing problem. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 421,000 people were injured in 2012 in car accidents caused by a distracted driver. Another 3,328 people were killed in such accidents.

The NHTSA classifies distracted driving as anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. That could include many things, like texting, talking on a cellphone, eating, drinking, talking to friends, changing the radio station or using a navigation system.

Distracted driving is especially problematic among young drivers. According to the NHTSA, 11 percent of deadly accidents involving drivers under 20 years old are caused by distracted drivers. Twenty percent of those accidents are caused by the use of a cellphone.

If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you could suffer painful and possibly costly injuries. You may be able to pursue personal injury litigation against the liable party for damages like medical bills, lost wages for time away from work, and pain and suffering.

An experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney could consult with you to determine whether a suit is appropriate, which parties may be liable, and how much in damages to pursue. The attorney could also recommend strategies for pursuing damages and advocate on your behalf in trial or settlement negotiations.

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