New Heads-Up Displays in Vehicles: Improving Safety or Just Another Distraction?

Heads-up displays in new cars are generating concerns regarding driver distraction, a St Louis auto accident attorney explains. Here’s why.

Heads-up displays in new cars are generating concerns regarding driver distraction, a St Louis auto accident attorney explains. Here’s why.

The proliferation of new vehicle technology in recent years has gone a long way towards enhancing safety and preventing traffic crashes via features like blind spot detection systems, for instance.

Not all of these advancements have been welcomed, however. And some – like the new heads-up displays in certain vehicles – are actually generating controversy and resistance.

What Are Heads-Up Displays?

Available in some newer model BMWs, Audis, Cadillacs and other luxury vehicles, heads-up displays refer to the transparent displays that appear a few feet in front of motorists, on the inside of windshields. These displays can present certain important information to drivers, such as the speed at which drivers are traveling and possible safety hazards surrounding the vehicle.

Interestingly, this technology has long been used in other arenas and industries, such as in commercial aviation and even in the video gaming realm.

Bringing heads-up displays to passenger vehicles, however, has been a remarkable new advancement that more and more automakers are looking to implement in the coming years. Their perspective on heads-up displays has generally been summed by Barry Hoch, general manager of product planning for Audi, who recently explained that:

From [vehicle manufacturers’] perspective, the whole reason for head-up displays is to help with driver distraction… You reduce the tilting of the head by 20 degrees, which is what’s required to look at an instrument cluster. And you don’t need to refocus back onto the road.

Heads-Up Displays Are Just Another Distraction, Critics Worry

Ironically, one of the problems carmakers are trying to eliminate with heads-up displays may become worse as a result of them, critics of this technology contend. Specifically, one of the primary concerns that heads-up displays are generating is that this technology could end up creating more distractions for motorists, instead of reducing their distractions.

Elucidating this point, Deborah Hersman, president of the National Safety Council, has stated:

It’s like the Wild West out there in terms of what’s being put into cars, and we’re expressing caution because there are no standards… If a head-up display can warn of a collision or a grade crossing ahead and a train coming, that may actually help… But if it puts up an iPod playlist or sends a restaurant reservation, that may distract from the task of driving.

What do think about heads-up displays in passenger vehicles? Would you like or use them? Would you feel safe knowing that drivers around you are using them? Tell us your opinions on Facebook & Google+.

St Charles & St Louis Auto Accident Attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

If you have been hurt in a traffic crash, contact a St Charles & St Louis auto accident attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is for vigorous legal advocacy, support and experienced help with your financial recovery.

To find out more about your legal rights and what we can do to help you, contact us today to schedule a free, no obligations initial consultation with one of our lawyers. To set up this consult, call our firm at (636) 946-6886 or toll free at (855)772-5291. You can also email us using the contact form on this page.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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