Some types of vehicle technology can reduce road crashes by as much as 50%, according to Dangerous Roads. But one piece of in-car technology has recently got people talking for all the wrong reasons. Tesla has come under fire for a video game feature that can be used when driving. But just how much of a danger are video games when you’re behind the wheel?
Distracted driving is caused when a driver takes part in a further activity which impairs their ability to focus on the road. It’s estimated that distracted driving leads to around 2,800 fatalities every year and 400,000 injuries. Video games like the ones in Tesla vehicles are playable via a screen mounted on the dash between the driver and front passenger seat. When playing them, they force you to take your eyes off the road and look down and to the side.
One study found that drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a road accident when they drive while distracted. It’s also been reported that 4 million road crashes every year could be prevented if drivers paid full attention to the road. The consequences of a crash must be considered, too. For example, a vehicle may be seriously damaged or written off if you play games and drive. This will hike up insurance costs and repairs or a replacement vehicle will be needed. Many collisions cause serious injuries, especially when a large vehicle is involved. Accidents involving trucks are common when drivers are distracted by things such as video games. This is because they are more likely to malfunction and there may be a problem with the load. A truck accident lawyer will likely get involved and assess the liability of all parties and seek compensation where appropriate.
Playing games while driving doesn’t just put you at greater risk of being involved in an accident, you’re also more likely to drive dangerously. This includes swerving between lanes, not maintaining a consistent speed, tailgating other drivers, suddenly braking, and running red lights. Driving like this is considered ‘reckless’ and is a major traffic violation. You may be fined up to $1,000 and even imprisoned if caught.
There’s a time and a place for video gaming and it’s not behind the wheel of the car. So, the next time you’re tempted to play a quick level when you’re driving, think again.