If you have recently purchased a 2017 or 2018 vehicle, a new in-dash app called Marketplace may have already caught your attention. Perhaps you’ve used the app to order a cup of coffee from Starbucks or take-out from TGI Fridays. Additionally, these new vehicles will be equipped with WiFi hotspots.
For some drivers, built-in apps such as Marketplace offer the convenience to order food and drinks while juggling a busy schedule. For others, the mere thrill of experiencing this modern phenomenon is enough to engage with the technology.
Concerns from safety advocates
While the app, produced by General Motors Co., gives drivers the luxury of ordering food or browsing hotels at their fingertips, many safety advocates are concerned that it will contribute to distracted driving and stall efforts to make the roads safer.
Deborah Hersman, President of National Safety Council, says, “If this is why they want WiFi in the cars, we’re going to see fatality numbers go up even higher than they are now.”
In 2016, traffic-related deaths linked to distracted driving totaled 3,450. This number represents roughly 9.2 percent of the 37,000 lives lost from auto accidents that year. That actually represents a 2.2 percent decrease from 2015, but it's still far too many.
Responsibility is key
With the current influx of in-vehicle technology, those numbers could rise again. That’s why it’s important that drivers use this technology responsibly. There are steps you could take on your own to prevent an accident caused by distractions linked to built-in apps:
- Only use your food-ordering app when you’re parked. If you plan on ordering a coffee or take-out, do so before driving to your destination.
- Take a passenger along for the ride. If your built-in apps must be used while you’re driving, a passenger can program the GPS, switch the music, or order food while you focus your attention on the road. Keep in mind, though, that talking to your passenger is itself a distraction.
- If you’re unable to resist the urge to use built-in technology while driving, purchase a vehicle that doesn’t include these features.
Never take a risk with your life, or someone else's, just so you could order that cup of coffee. Your first and foremost task when driving is keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
In the event of a crash caused by a distracted driver, you need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side. Tracey & Fox is dedicated to helping injured Texans maximize their compensation. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.