Recently, very few come off the assembly line without the newest and greatest technology. The newest cars often come with in-dash GPS, integrated MP3 players, rear view cameras, and Active Park Assist, among other nifty gadgets. But having the newest and greatest technology may not always be the most cost efficient or safest route. This article will detail some of the newest technology available in cars and potentially safety risks of the new technology.
Rear View Cameras
Rear view cameras can be an invaluable piece of technology that assists drivers in numerous ways. The most efficient Rear view cameras are especially useful in eliminating blind spots. This can be especially helpful when backing out of a parking spot or a driveway. Rear view cameras can assist when changing lanes on the freeway, thereby adding an extra layer of awareness, so you will not accidentally hit a car during the process of changing lanes. Only the newest cars have these cameras pre-installed, which means many new drivers are driving cars with them. When used in addition to the rear view mirror, rear view cameras are an excellent addition to safe driving. However, with the new addition of this technology, many teens and young adults in their early 20s are unaware of how to drive without a rear view camera.
During my undergraduate education, I rode in the car with a young adult who had never driven a car without the camera. She forgot to look in the mirror and narrowly missed someone walking behind her car. Disaster was averted, but unfortunately this young adult was not taught how to use a rear view mirror. I think a rear view camera is a great addition to any car, but it is important for parents and driver’s education instructors to teach about proper rear view mirror usage, regardless of the presence of a camera.
Active Park Assist
Active Park Assist is a technology available in some new model cars. This technology enables parallel parking without touching the steering wheel. This technology makes parallel parking as easy as pressing a button. This technology is great for older adults who learned to parallel parking utilizing the rear view mirror and by simply looking behind him or herself. One also has to wonder whether the Department of Motor Vehicles will change the protocols on driver’s tests as a result of the new Park Assist technology. Will a student taking the Driver’s Test be able to simply press the button to parallel park? I only consider this to be unsafe if a new driver is unaware of how to parallel park without the Park Assist Technology. That is truly the only problem with new technology — the inability to survive or function without it.
A movie playing via DVD in the car can be especially distracting to a driver, even if the movie is playing in the backseat. Heck, I don’t even care if your children are using headphones while watching a movie during a long road trip. My generation survived without such distractions during long road trips. If your kids cannot behave during the road trip, maybe they do not deserve a vacation.