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Head-Up Displays: More Distracted Drivers?

Categorized as Auto Accidents

Head-up displays are quickly becoming commonplace across many makes and models of automobiles. However, critics of the new display, are calling the advanced technology a major distraction to drivers who are quickly becoming overstimulated by the increasing number of technology features now offered as standard in many vehicles.

The illuminated graphics that appear to hover above the dashboard and in the line of sight of the driver often display the speed at which you are traveling, along with other details of your trip. Some even warn the driver of a potential collision.

While some features of the head-up display can be helpful to drivers, the problem is that that the technology is currently unregulated. There are no federal guidelines to govern these displays, leaving the area much like the Wild West, as described by the president of the National Safety Council.

Many safety advocates warn that the technology is a distraction to drivers, especially if the technology displays information such as an iPod playlist or restaurant reservation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) often issues voluntary guidelines on new technology like this, but there is no requirement that automakers follow the agency’s suggestions. The NHTSA has said that it has begun to investigate the technology and will issue guidelines for its use.

Meanwhile, despite the legal void, many automakers have already begun implementing head-up displays, including BMW, Lexus, Audi, Mercedes and Cadillac. The automakers claim that the technology reduces the risk for distraction by allowing drivers to no longer have to physically turn their head to check an instrument cluster.

Although more research needs to be conducted to determine the real benefits and level of distraction offered by head-up displays, existing research shows that anything that pulls your attention away from the road, even for one or two seconds, is a major distraction that significantly increases your risk for being involved in an auto accident. Distracted driving is the leading cause of auto accidents in the U.S.

If you are involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, our auto accident attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. We remain abreast of the latest technology advancements and are dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured.