Many Missouri and Illinois accident lawyers, including myself, often refer to Texting and Driving or distracted driving from the use of the web or email function on a cell phone the new drunk driving. Some studies have shown that testing and driving is more dangerous and causes more car accidents than drunk driving. See Injury Attorney article: Driving While Texting or Driving While Intoxicated...Which is Worse?
By now many of us have either heard or had the opportunity to experience Apple's helpful gadget dubbed "Siri." The technology company had a major announcement about everyone's favorite helpful robot, but it had nothing to do with the iPhone.
The company instead said that Siri would shortly be coming to a steering wheel near you. Several car companies have signed on to implement the new "Eye's Free" feature in their vehicles. These companies include several of the big boys: BMW, General Motors, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Audi. The carmakers will allow drivers to integrate Siri with their car's electronic systems and thus be able to access Siri through a steering wheel-mounted button.
Given this integration, it seems likely that such devices will also allow people to sync other features of their Apple products with their vehicles. This could include music, calling features, maps, text messaging and email, all with the helpful, voice-activated assistance of Siri.
Some believe such a system would be welcome to drivers who grow tired of having to manually enter in their destinations in the GPS. By making use of Siri's natural language voice control system, drivers will supposedly be better able to keep their hands on the wheel and their minds on the task at hand, thus limiting the dangers associated with distracted driving.
Apple never got around to mentioning what, if any, restrictions would placed on Siri's use in the car. Currently, Siri can be used to read and send text messages, get directions, find restaurants and movies, play music, get weather reports, answer random questions as well as a multitude of other tasks. This plethora of entertaining possibilities could become a liability rather than a benefit to drivers as the door becomes open to even more distractions.
Some see this a proof that the auto industry is working hard to crack down on distracted driving. Just a few weeks ago, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a blueprint for ending distracted driving. Much of the burden was placed on the automakers to help craft solutions to reduce distractions while behind the wheel. The question remains whether the benefits of Siri will actually work to reduce distractions or if it will instead pose many of the same threats to drivers.
The tragic consequences of distracted driving are why we at Sansone / Lauber repeatedly stress vigilance and awareness while operating motor vehicles. It only takes one or two seconds of distraction to cause irreparable harm to yourself and others. For information on how to protect your legal rights if you or a loved one has been seriously injured, call one of our Missouri car accident attorneys today at 1-314-863-0500.
See Our Related Blog Posts:
Cell Phone Statistics Graphic: Showing Increased Use and Constant Attention People Give their Cell Phones
Distracted Driving is Dangerous, but what about Distracted Walking?