Self-driving cars may put an end to distracted driving

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According to the NHTSA, in 2017, distracted driving cost 3,166 people their lives. In California, teens were often blamed for this problem, but studies show that parents struggle just as much with setting their phone aside. This is despite the fact that there is more pressure on parents to lead by example. After all, teens are unlikely to listen to their parents when they talk about distracted driving, if the parents are still using the phone while driving.

Forbes also points out that distractions do not just come from smart phones. Sleep deprivation and substance use or abuse are also behind catastrophic motor vehicle accidents. Even so, phone makers are also trying to limit distraction. Both Apple and Google phones have automatic Do Not Disturb functions that block messages while driving.

Car manufacturers have also stepped up to the challenge. Technology detecting lane departure, speeding and forward collision can go a long way toward increasing safety on the roads. Some manufacturers have even taken it a step further. For instance, in 2017 the Cadillac CT6 included eye-tracking technology. It knows when drivers are focused on their phones instead of the road.

Additionally, the founder of Tesla claims America is very close to Level 5 autonomous driving. Put in simpler terms, the car would be able to go from Point A to Point B with no intervention from its occupants. In this instance, it would not matter if people were on their phones or not. Even so, not everyone can afford a Tesla. Thankfully, Google has also been testing their self-driving cars, particularly in California.

Many argue that the technology is already in place to put self-driving cars on the road full-term. However, despite the increasing love for Tesla, Americans may take some convincing before handing over the reins to the motor vehicle becomes an acceptable form of road use.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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