Cars and Technology: Solutions in Reducing Distractions

Akie K

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In this modern age of technology, most people desire the newest gadgets in their own life. Cellular devices and automobiles are nearly necessary to function in America in 2018, with phones being the easiest way to communicate and cars being the easiest way to commute to work and school. However, with these unprecedented technological changes, many distractions can prevent work from being done, especially in motor vehicles. Constant notification sounds from a cellular device, cumbersome audio-controlled dashboard displays, and clumsy touch screens commit consequences for distracting the driver from the road. To decrease distractions with technology in motor vehicles, car manufacturers should simplify by eliminating interactive technology and utilize driving modes on cellular devices. Interactive technology, for example, touch screen or voice controlled dashboards, can distract someone for over forty seconds, which is deadly for any driver on the highway or even on the streets. On highways, drivers need to keep their eye on the high-speed road at all times. Nonetheless, some vehicles allow Internet searches or social media included with the touch screen, which serves as a distraction for those on the road. It’s completely unnecessary to surf the internet while driving. Car designers should design systems that are no more visually and mentally demanding than simply listening to the radio. The touchscreen interface is easily one of the most distracting features found in new cars that can remove an entire hand from the steering wheel and focus the driver’s vision away from the road. Proposing to eliminate touchscreens and to have less interactive technology should be the way to go about things in order to reduce distractions while driving. It can’t be helped if the touchscreens are already in an owner’s vehicle, but one simple method drivers can be less distracted from their mobile devices is to make driving modes on their phones a requirement for driving. Driving modes, when enabled on the driver’s phone, can block calls or texts while driving. This technology already exists; AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have driving modes or do not disturb while driving settings and many Apple and Android phones come with this feature. Some even turn on automatically when traveling at least fifteen miles per hour. This may seem radical, but making it illegal to drive without utilizing drive mode should be necessary in order to have safe driving experience, or at the very least, make it illegal to use phones other than to use GPS or other navigational features that aren’t actively distracting the driver from the road. This is not to say technology means to harm any user, but rather, technology is useful in moderation. Interactive technology can be useful in homes, but not in cars; voice activated or touch screen car setups can be distracting and difficult to use for older drivers who are unfamiliar with the new technology. No driver needs to browse social media or surf the internet while driving on a highway, this is only common sense; work, school, friend or whatever the reason may be, it can wait. Drive modes don’t necessarily stop anyone from using phones, but it can at least keep the phones away for the short drive. Technology helps the modern world go around, and with new cars and phones coming out every year, it’s necessary to take some precautions in order to stay safe. The technology is already there, people just have to be willing to adapt and change. The most difficult part of bringing about change is urging people to alter their way of life.