While it’s fun to play mission control with all the bells and whistles installed on these feature-rich displays, it’s impossible to keep your eyes on the road while glancing down at all the icons and options at your fingertips. It may be convenient to check your Tweets and scroll through your favorite playlist, but doing so also increases your risk of bumping into the car in front of you or worse.
Voice-controlled smartphones and Bluetooth technology may make it easy for you to keep both hands on the steering wheel, but they don’t ensure that your mind stays focused on the task of driving. According to the National Safety Council, even when using hands-free technology, drivers can miss seeing up to 50 percent of the things happening around them while talking on the phone.
They move us one step closer to the self-driving car, but self-braking systems may also encourage drivers to become laxer when driving. After all, if you think your car will break for you if you get too close to another vehicle, you may think you can get away with taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds longer than the average driver.
If you own a late model vehicle with one or more of these features installed, pay attention to your driving habits this week to see if you’re more distracted than usual when using them. By being aware of the distractions they cause, you can take steps to refocus your attention so you can drive safely to your destination.