Self-driving cars may still be years away, but cars today are still coming packed with cool new technology and features designed to make your next road trip as luxurious as possible. However, in many cases, these cutting-edge features only add to the list of potential driver distractions, a list which already includes other passengers, the radio, food and drinks, texting and everything else happening on your phone. Although public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving is increasing, distraction still causes or contributes to as many as 80 percent of all car crashes. Plus, some studies indicate that New Orleans has the highest number of distracted drivers on the road at any given time. In the face of these potential dangers, the question is: how do we end distracted driving for good?
One Canada-based technology company believes it may have the answer. They aim to add one more cutting-edge feature to new cars: technology that can monitor the driver for distracted behavior. Researchers at University of Waterloo’s Centre for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence are leaving driverless cars to Waymo and Uber. Instead, they are looking inward and developing software that can monitor drivers for dangerous behavior.
How Could This Technology Detect Distracted Driving?
The monitoring technology that could end distracted driving relies on a network of cameras in the dashboard and car doors. This creates a kind of three-dimensional picture of the driver, which a specialized program then analyses. If the program finds any distracted behavior, then the system would alert the driver, hopefully pulling his or her attention back to the road. In the future, the car might even be able to automatically brake or take over the steering when the driver is distracted.
This technology is still in its early development phase. One major obstacle researchers face is how to develop a system that can accurately tell when a driver is distracted. Oftentimes, even the driver doesn’t consciously realize that he or she is distracted until a car accident happens. Currently, researchers are training their software to make autonomous decisions based on multiple factors, including hand and eye positions. So maybe this tech has more in common with self-driving cars that it would at first appear.
What Could This System Mean for the Future of Car Accident Injury Claims?
Currently, this distraction-detection technology still relies on the human driver to react to the warning and re-focus on the road. Since human error is still a factor, this kind of program may be unable to completely end distracted driving accidents. However, if driver monitoring systems become commonplace, then they may help make proving liability in a car accident claim much easier.
After a car crash, there is often little concrete evidence to show that the at-fault driver was texting or distracted. Even if you saw that the other motorist was texting, the insurance company may not take you at your word. Instead, they may say that it is your word against the other driver’s. However, data collected by monitoring systems in the moments before a crash may show that the at-fault motorist was distracted.
If you were hurt in a distracted driving accident in New Orleans, then our lawyers can help. We have experience with these types of accidents and can offer you legal advice in a free initial consultation.