New advances in auto technology always seem to take center stage. From electronic ignitions to computerized engines and even autopilot, technology is a great way to make our daily drives a bit more comfortable. This new technology is good for more than just comfort though — it’s also helping to improve accountability for drivers. What new technologies can be used to improve accountability and hopefully improve the way we drive?
Apps to Prevent Distracted Driving
Autonomous cars are the wave of the future and could potentially cut car accidents by 90% if they are adopted across the market, but in the meantime, we still have distracted drivers to worry about while we’re on the road.
If you don’t drive a car that has an autopilot feature, some researchers believe that artificial intelligence could help to prevent accidents caused by distracted driving — by simply taking over control of the vehicle for a few minutes to prevent accidents. Early versions of the software could help directly by alerting drivers of dangerous situations when they may be distracted.
Some manufacturers have already started adding equipment to their newer models to prevent distracted driving from causing accidents. Things like lane departure alerts and automatic braking are all designed to avoid the accidents that can happen when someone is distracted behind the wheel for as little as a few moments.
There are even apps now that encourage you to report your fellow drivers if they are guilty of distracted driving. Text to Ticket is an app designed by a group of friends who were nearly run down in San Francisco by a distracted driver. By recording a video of a distracted driver from the passenger seat of another car and submitting to Text to Ticket, you can potentially earn $5 per citation issued by police after the video has been reviewed and submitted to law enforcement.
Dash Cams for Passenger Cars
Police cars have been commonly equipped with dash cams for years. They, along with the body cams that are becoming more and more popular, help to increase police accountability — there is no ‘he said, she said’ when there’s a video recording of an incident.
It’s this exact logic that has many drivers installing dash cams on their cars. When you’ve got two conflicting stories about an accident or an incident of road rage, it can be difficult to ascertain who is at fault. Dash cams are changing that by providing that same sort of video recorded accountability that police officers have relied on for years.
It is important to check if a dash cam is legal to install in your car and whether or not dash cam footage is considered legitimate evidence in court in your state. In some areas, it’s not only legal — it’s encouraged by law enforcement.
They might seem like an expensive investment, but a dash cam can save you a world of trouble if you’re in a car accident.
This might only be an issue for company vehicles, but GPS tracking can help to prevent distracted driving by ensuring that the drivers of fleet vehicles are only going where they are permitted. These devices can also be designed to monitor vehicle speed, locate vehicles to watch delivery times, and even to keep track of vehicles if they have broken down and need to be retrieved.
There have been some cases where driver privacy was cited when GPS trackers were used in company vehicles — it was found that the majority of the time, driver privacy was only a concern if the employee was driving their vehicle, even if they were driving on company time.
Distracted driving is one of the biggest risks on the road now. If these new technological advances can help to reduce the number of accidents related to those behaviors, then we believe that they should be adopted as quickly as possible.