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VA Car Accident Injury Lawyers: Voice-Command Dashboard Consoles Pose Risks for Motorists

car accident injury lawyers, voice commands, vaThe relatively-new technology of voice-operated computers within car dashboards was supposed to make driving and communicating safer, given one’s ability to still drive with two hands on the wheel; however, new research has shown evidence that suggests drivers are just as distracted by hands-free technology as by cellular phones.

The research, conducted by the American Automobile Association, bases its conclusions on the phenomenon of “tunnel vision” or “inattention blindness,” which occurs when motorists are concentrating on something other than driving—in this case, issuing voice commands to their computer—and are subsequently not paying full attention to the road. Drivers may be looking straight ahead of them while they’re speaking, but given that their attention is fixated upon operating the computer, they create a “looked but did not see” situation.

There are roughly nine million vehicles with these types of systems on board, and that number is expected to multiply by almost seven over the next five years. This could pose serious problems, as distracted driving is a widespread problem in the United States; texting, talking on the cell phone and dealing with voice-activated computers all contribute to the habit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out that 3,331 people were killed, and 387,000 were injured, due to distracted driving in 2011. If on-board voice computers become more prevalent in vehicles, then we may see those numbers jump, particularly if they one day become standard in most makes and models.

The personal injury lawyers at our Virginia-based law firm are very familiar with the phenomenon of distracted driving; we’ve seen many cases where someone is seriously injured or tragically killed because of another motorist who simply wasn’t paying attention. Our attorneys have authored an in-depth guide explaining the key factors in distracted driving, its risks, and the laws and regulations that govern it; you can click here to download the book for free.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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