General Motors recently released an app, available on 2017 and 2018 vehicle models, that will allow drivers to order coffee and find hotels directly from their dashboard. It can also locate the nearby partner gas stations and additional capabilities will be added in the future. Dubbed “Marketplace,” the new app will work with vehicles equipped with a wifi hotspot and aims to make commutes “more productive, more enjoyable and safer.”
The risks of built-in food ordering apps
However, the National Safety Council believes this new app will encourage and add to the issue of distracted driving, which is involved in a quarter of all vehicle accidents and is a contributing factor to the 5.6 percent rise in traffic fatalities from 2016 to 2017. NSC President, Deborah Hersman, has said, "there’s nothing about this that’s safe” and that such services will result in even higher distracted driving fatalities.
The service is made for use while driving and coincides with the rise of “infotainment” systems in modern vehicles. GM aims to be at the forefront of mobile services in vehicles, with this app being the first commerce-oriented app of its kind in the auto industry. With this app, they also hope to take phones out of the hands of drivers and provide a simpler and safer alternative.
The app was designed in accordance with voluntary driver-distraction guidelines, developed by car companies, that limit the number of steps required to complete an action. However, this may just lead to more people attempting to multitask while using the simpler method rather than waiting until it is safe to do so when pulled over. The idea that the human brain is capable of truly multitasking is a myth, according to an article from The Drive.
The staggering facts about distracted driving
Distracted driving has been a major issue since the rise of smartphones and the increased availability of mobile technology. In 2016, 3,450 deaths were the result of distracted driving. 21,000 crashes could be attributed to distracted driving in 2015, a number that has increased steadily since 2011 (15,000 crashes). Here in Alabama, distracted driving accidents have increased from 2014 to 2016, according to analysis of traffic data by the University of Alabama.
When driving, always make sure that you are fully focused on the road and pay attention to any potential hazards. Doing so will reduce your risk of an accident but accidents still happen. If you or someone you know was involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact our law office today. Dean Waite Attorneys at Law would be glad to help.