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Car technology brings new risks

December 1, 2014

While it is important to have auto insurance for your vehicle, it is also necessary to rely on safe habits. Being covered by an auto insurance policy isn't the same as having a free pass to drive less carefully. However, careful driving seems to be getting more difficult as more technologies are made for automobiles.

Too many distractions could pose a problem for drivers.

When choosing a new car or outfitting your current vehicle, make sure to consider best practices for dealing with today's distractions, as they are now right on your dashboard. Some are even on your windshield.

Here are some items that have many concerned, as safety seems to be sliding out of the way for fun:

  • Smart glass: While smart devices are everywhere, this concept hasn't been widely utilized in automobiles. An example of a new car making maximum use of smart glass technology is the Jaguar Land Rover. The technology will allow all the windows in the car to moving and still supporting images. From general information, such as speed and fuel level, to more advanced information, like what points of interest you are passing, the glass is praised by some but causing concern in others. The glass also has wipe capabilities, so you can simply wave through and search information on your windshield or side window while driving. However, this means you are not watching the road.
  • Piloted highway driving: Imagine cruise control under the influence of radar to make sure the car doesn't roll into another lane. This technology ensures exactly that. While piloted driving is still in design, Audi is hoping to make use of it next year. However, piloted driving still requires a driver to be in the seat and watch for sudden obstacles or accidents. The technology should avert these incidents, but until piloted highway driving is tested and working probably, it is hard to say. There is a concern that many will not pay attention while the car is driving itself because they will feel they don't have to, which could lead to problems if something should go wrong.

David Strayer, a University of Utah cognitive neurologist, worries that these tools might create more distractions than assistance, according to The Globe and Mail.

“Hands-free isn't brain free,” Strayer said. “Everyone's been focusing on keeping eyes on the road, and the industry has moved to hands-free without formal evaluation.”

Choose your car and its accessories as carefully as you would your auto insurance policy.