Everyone is always looking for newest inventions, and the adding of futuristic options to vehicles is no exception. Vehicles have come along way from the Model T created by Henry Ford decades ago. The addition of air conditioning and heat, power windows and automatic drive were some of the additions that people rejoiced having. Jump ahead to the 21st century, and there are now cars that drive themselves, blind spot warnings and backup cameras. To adults that have been driving since manual stick shift driving and turning their head around to watch for obstacles as they reverse, some of the additions are helpful, but for the new young adults just starting out, these can create a problem with their defensive driving skills.
Not paying attention to the road or checking their blind spots will make the new driver rely on electronics to warn them of danger or when to start braking. Not learning the skills needed to be a safe and defensive driver will cause more traffic accidents and a rise in injuries or death in the years to come.
Sensors and cameras that send data to the cars computer relay to the driver via lights or warning sounds bringing the information to the driver attention and allow them to act accordingly. However, what if that sensor or sound malfunctions? The driver does not have the sense or muscle memory to check mirrors or turn their head to check for a car in their blind spot or to back out of a parking space slowly, so they do not hit a pedestrian or another car.
Being able to react to a situation while driving must happen in less than a second and if the reflexes are not there, the outcome will not be a positive one.
Over the years the conveniences added to cars have been for the better for the driver, such as the radio and power locks and windows and GPS, but outside sources have also contributed to inexperienced drivers being bad ones. Cellphones able to take pictures and browse social media has cause drivers to be distracted from watching the road and being aware of their surroundings. Video chat and updating status have replaced using blinkers and getting off at the exit safely. Swerving in lanes and cutting across four lanes of traffic, so the exits are not missed, is not only endangering the driver but everyone else on the road. Browsing the internet is for in the office, not while driving 65mph on the highway in a one-ton metal container. A lot of the accidents caused could have been avoided by just keeping the phone in a purse or pocket until reaching the destination.
The Department of Transportation has tried to keep up with the times installing red light/traffic cameras, police checking speeds and for distracted drivers, making talk/text while driving illegal and upping the number of fines but people continue not to care and break the law. Vehicle makers are trying to help fix the problem by adding parental features to vehicles such as max speed allowed; radio will not turn on until seat belts engaged and cell phone call rejection. These will allow a parent to set limits in the vehicle that the young driver cannot change.
Parents can also help by teaching their new driver the skills they learned when they were first starting out. If possible buying an older vehicle for the young driver, that does not come with the fancy new sensors, so they can hone their skills so when they do buy a new vehicle they have the sense and muscle memory to rely on instead of the electronics. Futuristic conveniences vehicles are not a bad thing, for a suitable driver it can make them better, but on the flip side, it can make a new driver a bad one.