Most cars now have some form of electronic screen installed. Through it, you can do a whole variety of tasks. The issue is that many of these tasks are unsuitable while driving.
An ideal driver should do nothing but drive. They should sit with both hands on the wheel, constantly looking at the road ahead while making regular quick checks of all three mirrors.
Few, if any, drivers are like that. Most end up doing several other things while driving. In some cases, it is relatively minor, such as a quick reach for a pair of sunglasses to beat the glare. Yet often, the things they do are dangerously distracting. What’s more, some people do several dangerous things at once, such as talking on the phone while eating a sandwich.
Car manufacturers are party to blame
Does Lewis Hamilton have the option to watch videos while driving his Formula One car around the track? Of course not. He can’t put in a call to his mum or receive Facebook notifications, either.
While racing cars have some information available on screens, and the drivers can use their headsets to contact their race crew, the options to do non-essential tasks are limited. There is no doubt drivers must focus on driving. Passenger vehicles, by contrast, come stacked with technology that allows you to do all sorts of things.
You can switch radio channels from opera to baseball, play a Disney video for your kids or swipe right on Tinder, chat with the person, then navigate to an agreed meet-up point – all through your car infotainment system.
Anyone manipulating their in-car systems while driving is at a higher risk of a crash. If they crash into you, you’ll need help to understand your legal options.