Built-In Food Ordering App Could Increase Distracted Driving
Technology continues to make headway in the automobile market as infotainment systems and other conveniences become inherent in today's dashboards. A recent development found in many 2017 and 2018 vehicles allows motorists to order food or browse hotel deals from a screen built into their infotainment system.
The new WiFi-equipped app, called Marketplace, was recently developed by GM, and will be installed in roughly four million vehicles within the next year. You can order a cup of Joe from Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts and have it ready upon arrival. You can also order take-out from TGI Friday's or have food delivered via Delivery.com. And if that's not convenient enough, you can also browse hotel deals on Priceline.com.
For many drivers, this technological advance may seem convenient, allowing them to multitask. However, the app has caught the attention of concerned safety advocates who believe its use could curb attempts at making our roads safer.
The new app raises safety concerns
Distracted driving is already a growing problem, as pointed out by 2016 statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A total of 37,461 deaths occurred on U.S. roadways in 2016, a 5.6 percent increase from 2015. And out of those deaths, 3,450 were caused by distracted driving.
GM claims the app will reduce distracted driving by offering an alternative option to handheld devices. In accordance with voluntary driver-distraction guidelines, the new app limits the number of steps a driver or passenger can take to place an order. Advocates for the app can attest to the likelihood that the app will cause distraction, which doesn't differ from built-in music players or navigation systems.
However, it's worth noting that those other devices cause many distracted driving accidents, too, and an additional source of distraction is always a potentially dangerous proposition. National Safety Council (NSC) President Deborah Hersman believes that this new app will only increase the number of traffic fatalities. She stated, "If this is why they want WiFi in the car, we’re going to see fatality numbers go up even higher than they are now."
With technology comes the need for responsibility
Technological advances in new vehicle models can't be avoided in the coming years. Soon, every driver and passenger will have a slew of features at their fingertips. And while measures are being taken to reduce the use of handheld devices while driving, built-in apps are currently unregulated. Motorists and auto manufacturers need to find a balance between luxury and safety. With an influx of convenience comes the need for responsible use.
In the event of an accident caused by distracted driving, you need the advocacy of an experienced auto accident attorney. The experienced legal team at Warner Law Offices will fight for your rights. Contact us today and find out how we can help.