Cars have gotten high tech. Modern vehicles can keep you connected, entertained and even driving in the right lane. In recent years, new exciting new features have tempted car buyers. But before you hand over your money, you should ask whether these features are actually a good idea. In some cases, they may be a dangerous.

Distracted Driving – The Problem That Won’t Go Away

Distracted driving kills 9 people in the U.S. each day, according to the CDC. If you take your eyes off the road for a mere five seconds – roughly the time it might take your to check a text message – your car can travel the length of a football field at a speed of 55 mph.

As the danger of distracted driving has become clear, more and more states have been passing laws to fight it. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 48 states now have laws that ban texting while driving, and 18 states have laws that ban the use of hand-held devices while driving.

Given this, it’s not hard to see why some people would object to having a touchscreen in a car. Yet more and more vehicles are coming out with this feature.

A study conducted by the University of Utah and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in-car infotainment features may be distracting and confusing, especially for older drivers. Even voice-command functions can be distracting if they’re complicated to use or poorly designed.

Safety Features – The Good Side of Car Tech

New car technology isn’t all bad. Safety features like backup cameras and automatic emergency braking have the potential to prevent crashes and save lives. Even infotainment systems can keep drivers out of danger by putting them in touch with roadside assistance or helping them find their destination when they’re lost. The key is to be smart – and safe – about how you use technology.

  • Familiarize yourself with new features. If you have a new car with a fancy infotainment system, take some time to learn how it works – when you’re NOT driving.
  • Set everything up before you start driving. Don’t pick out your music and enter your route while you’re driving. Do this while you’re still parked.
  • Pull over if you’re having trouble. Things can go wrong. Maybe the directions you’re getting aren’t right, or you’re sick of the music that’s playing. If you don’t have a passenger to handle it, pull over before trying to do it yourself.
  • Stay focused on the road. This means keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. It also means keeping your mind focused on driving. Anything else is a dangerous distraction.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance – A Must Have

If you have a car with new auto technology features, be aware that repairs are more costly. The Chicago Tribune reports that new vehicle tech can double repair costs, even with simple fender benders! You don’t want to pay these costs out of pocket, so be sure to carry comprehensive auto insurance coverage. Get an affordable online auto insurance quote from Jupiter Auto now!