Are Digital Screens in New Vehicles Dangerous?

Posted on: February 18, 2021

Car makers continuously experiment with advancements in their vehicle generations. These advancements include safety features aimed at reducing the risk of car accidents, as well as fatalities when collisions occur. However, not every piece of technology makes a vehicle safer. This is true of digital screens, which have been at the center of debate between automotive manufacturers and highway safety experts. While manufacturers insist that screens can be valuable, risk analysts caution that the reverse is true. Despite worries, screens are starting to become standard in vehicles, which normalizes their presence among car-buying consumers.

How are Digital Screens Used in Cars?

The screens augment or replace traditional dashboard consoles. Instead of consoles with knobs and buttons, they feature computerized flat or slightly curved touchscreens. There are those that are outfitted with voice recognition software to reduce physical contact without losing functionality. Mid-level car brands have begun to add screen technology to their vehicles. Nevertheless, innovative and luxury makers have completely reinvented the console with a technological upgrade.

What are the Concerns About Digital Screens in Cars?

With more car makers exploring the use of screens, there are inherent risks in driving a vehicle outfitted with digital technology. Though screens have become commonplace due to cell phones, they can be distracting. When a screen flashes, shows text, pictures, or plays a video, a driver’s attention is taken from the road. Even a second or two of distracted driving can lead to an otherwise preventable crash.

Screens can create a placebo effect, leading drivers to assume they are safer than they are. Digital displays in cars also do not offer any tactile interface. Drivers can use their muscle memory to reach for a knob because they know where it is. They can feel the knob as they turn it. This allows them to avoid looking down to switch a radio channel or adjust their heat or air conditioning. Screens offer little corresponding tactile response. Therefore, drivers may be compelled to look at the screens to adjust the temperature while behind the wheel.

Technology can also change and evolve, which means today’s screen software will become outdated. If a car with older technology has a technological breakdown, technicians may be unable to restore it because the software has become obsolete. Even if the software can be restored, it may not be reliable because of limited support. Cars with screens may become outdated rapidly and unable to completely restore after a technological glitch.

How are Car Makers Increasing Screen Safety?

Car makers are exploring ways to reduce the chances of screens becoming permanent distractions. One method is to install eye tracking software into the display unit that aims to pinpoint where the driver is looking. If the driver focuses on the console, the console will shut off automatically. Another way is by offering digital screens in tandem with regular consoles. This gives the driver the ability to reach for a button while driving and avoid using a touchscreen when the car is in motion.

How can I Minimize Driving Hazards in a Screen-Heavy Vehicle?

Drivers who rent or buy vehicles equipped with digital screens can reduce their chances of being distracted by taking a few steps, which include the following:

  • Drivers should become familiar with all digital devices in their vehicles before getting on the road.
  • Drivers who want screens in their cars should aim for smaller ones rather than larger ones.
  • Drivers should not treat digital consoles like large phones, tablets, or laptops.
  • Drivers should use hands-free voice recognition when available. This reduces the need to physically touch the console.
  • Drivers should know how to take proper care of their digital screen consoles. They should also find out what to do and where to go in the event of a digital glitch that leaves them without key information.

Older and younger drivers may be more distracted than middle-age drivers for different reasons. Younger drivers see digital technology as an everyday part of life. They might be better suited to learning to drive vehicles without technology first and then move on to a vehicle with a digital display. Older drivers may feel uncomfortable dealing with screens while operating a vehicle. For them, models of cars with limited or no screens may make more sense.

Will Cars Stop Using Digital Screens?

Even with concerns about digital screens, car trend experts agree that screen technology is unlikely to go away. Drivers will have to contend with the distractions of having screens in their vehicles. All drivers have a responsibility to act responsibly. Victims of crashes caused by drivers distracted by screens may want to contact a local car accident lawyer to discuss the best ways to recover economic and non-economic damages.

Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Help Car Accident Victims Obtain the Compensation They Deserve

If you were injured in a car accident and need legal help, contact the Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova today. Our lawyers will help you through your case and work to get you the settlement that is best for you. Contact us online or call 732-705-3363 for a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Ocean County, Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.