Electronics Are Hijacking Our Cars

Audi A3 with Google Earth integration

In the old days (maybe five years ago), one of the horrors you’d see on the road was a driver fumbling to unfold his map while buzzing through traffic. Now, he looks at his GPS, which conveys much more (and more accurate) information while buzzing through traffic.

But it’s the same pressure to know where you’re going before you get there, and the driver still takes his eyes and attention off the road.

Audi now gives him all the detail and distraction of Google Earth (see above); Mercedes-Benz gives him “Facebook, Yelp, a news reader, Morningstar Finance, Google search, Google Street View, and Panoramio.” We note that “many” (why not all?) of the Benz apps are blocked while the car is moving.

CNET tells us that this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was in large part a venue for automakers to display their newest screens, apps and dashboard glitz—most designed to bring all the junk on your phone into the car. The so-called connected car is gaining “incredible momentum.”

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Why All Mobile Phone Use Should Be Banned While Driving

Texting while driving accident

If there’s any lingering question as to why cell phones and driving should never be used in combination, the picture above should clear it up pretty quick.

Between the bus and the big rig is what’s left of a pickup, which was being driven by a 19-year-old kid. Just prior to slamming into the semi, the young driver had sent or received 11 text messages in as many minutes. Just after the collision, two school busses joined the chain reaction, killing a 15-year-old student. The texting driver also died. Two tragic losses that defy rationalization.

You’ve probably seen the images from last August’s crash and read the story already, but it’s a powerful reminder of the dangers phones create for everyone on the road. To prevent accidents like this and future deaths, should cell-phone use be banned outright for drivers across the United States? One government body thinks so.

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