Technology could make distracted driving less devastating

Scientists are investigating ways in which technology could reduce the number of fatalities and injuries caused by distracted driving crashes. Many of these accidents are attributed to technology; specifically texting or surfing the internet while driving or otherwise using a smartphone. However, artificial intelligence holds some potential for new safety features that could be integrated into cars and trucks. After all, distracted driving crashes cost around $40 million in damages each year and take around nine lives each day across the country. The toll of those injured in these collisions is even greater.

There are three major types of distraction that divert drivers from the road ahead and lead to motor vehicle accidents, and all of them can be dealt with through artificial intelligence. Visual distraction involves the diversion of the eyes from the road, manual distraction takes a driver’s hands off the wheel while cognitive distractions prevent attention and focus. Drowsy driving could also be a form of inattentive or distracted driving. Sensors can incorporate algorithms that process images and input data from driving behavior and the presence or absence of hands to produce an alert when distracted driving seems more likely.

In some cases, these technologies could produce an alert or alarm. Most drivers do not intend to become distracted but fall into harmful habits. An alarm could put their attention and eyes back where they belong. In other cases, however, such as a seriously drowsy or impaired driver, these technologies could combine with those that make autonomous vehicles possible to stop the car, steer it or move it to the side of the road.

Distracted driving can take a serious toll and cause catastrophic injuries that linger for life. A personal injury lawyer may help car accident victims pursue compensation for their damages, including lost wages and medical bills.