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Car’s Digital Dashboards Adding To Road Distractions

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Car’s Digital Dashboards Adding To Road Distractions

New vehicles are continuing to add larger screens to their dashboards, with Mercedes unveiling a 56 inch screen this month.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Captain R.C. Christian said this is one more thing to pull drivers attention from the roads. Christian said Highway Patrol has seen an uptick in distracted driving, and these screens are one more thing contributing to these crashes.

He said using these are not covered by Tennessee’s hands-free driving laws.

“Granted if things continue, obviously this would have to be addressed ,” Christian said. “The law may have to be amended, even for something dealing with the dash of a car or something such as that at sometime.”

Christian said with car companies competing to outdo each other with technology, drivers have to take the responsibility of prioritizing their attention while driving. He said he understands that some features can help the driver, but taking attention off the road can cut reaction time needed to avoid a crash.

“When we look over to anything on the dash, we’re taking away seconds that could be the difference in possibly being involved in a crash,” Christian said. “Average reaction time for someone, and that’s when a stimulant to your brain says, ‘hey, there’s a car stopping in front of me, I need to put my foot on the brake,’ it’s about 1.5 to 1.6 seconds.”

Christian said drivers can still look at their digital dash in the car. He said it’s about drivers using the screen at the correct time while they’re in the car.

“If you’re stopped at red light or something such as that, and even then you really need to pay attention to what you’re doing,” Christian said. “That’s kind of a pristine time to adjust for something or be able to look at it if something presents itself. There’s so much technology and so many things coming to us. It’s definitely going to be a part of our lives.”





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