Should We Blame our Cars for Distracted Driving?

August 16, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The tech toys in our cars seem to grow daily. What we only dreamed about a decade ago (a car that would talk to us and give us driving directions) has come true. We can stream from the internet, check weather, listen to music and books, talk to text, answer calls, watch movies – the list of things is almost limitless. This of course poses a host of challenges.

We can talk about the distractions of the features themselves (I don’t think we need to be watching a movie when we are driving), to the distractions of using the technology. Many cars have dashboard displays that resemble something from an airplane cockpit more than the cars we learned to drive on. I think back to the push button radio controls, heat, fan and venting options of the first car I drove fondly.

Cars now have digital displays with embedded menu systems many of which are nearly impossible to operate without looking at while making selections. In fact, insurance companies are quite concerned with the number of distractions posed by trying to drive a car. A recent All State Insurance survey showed that:

  • 38% of people admit to fiddling with a car’s integrated systems while driving
  • 25% use their phones
  • 23% use their GPS

Many of the tools meant to make the drive safer for us are in fact causing significant distractions. In Quebec, distracted driving was the second leading cause of fatal accidents last year surpassing impaired driving. More than 24 fatal crashes were blamed on inattentive drivers.

The same technology that’s distracting us could be used to combat the distracted driving as well. The question is why aren’t car companies doing more to simplify ease of use of onboard tech, and to simply disable some technology features while driving?

There are other options available to handle the distraction of your phone. If you have an iPhone then you can turn on the ‘don not disturb’ function which sends a message automatically to anyone trying to call or text you while the car is driving. Other options include devices that plug into your car, connecting your device to the cloud and letting your mobile provider know you are driving. This allows your service provider to block all emails, texts and SM updates, and they can also block you from sending messages or using your SM while driving.

In the end, a lot of the problem can be avoided with a bit of discipline and forethought. Put your phone on silent mode, put it on do not disturb mode, put it away when you are driving.




Posted under Automobile Accident Benefits, Distracted Drivers

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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