For auld lang syne, my dear…

Christmas has come and past and New Years is but a few days away. Now is the time of the year when you are enjoying all the new gizmos and gadgets you got for the holidays. It is also the time of the year when you are planning out resolutions for the year ahead. We at CARCHEX want to have you around for a while, so think of making one of your New Years resolutions be to a less distracted driver.

Cars with the latest technology are amazing. Voice recognition. Voice to text. GPS voice guided navigation. Wi-fi hotspots. Built in satellite radio. All amazing things that ten years ago seemed to be in the realm of science fiction. But, as cool as these technologies are, they can cause distracted driving which is a leading causes of injury and fatal crashes. In fact, according to the NHTSA, 36% of these crashes were caused by distracted driving. And the University of Utah has concluded that talking on a cell phone while driving, hands-free or not, is equivalent to driving drunk.

Not all new technology in cars is bad. Blind spot detection, accident avoidance warnings, and driver alertness alarms all help make you safer while driving. But, can you rely on technology too much behind the wheel? Pat Goss takes a look at new automotive technology and gives his take on if it makes you a safer or a dumber driver.

From all of us at CARCHEX, have a Happy New Year and a safe, productive, and prosperous 2012!

You have questions. Pat Goss has answers.

What is your advice for being a safe driver with so many distracting gadgets in your car?

There are lots and lots of gadgets on these new cars. It’s fascinating and certainly everybody wants to play with them. But, all of these gadgets can actually make you a dumber driver because you rely on them too much. You still have to maintain good driving habits no matter how many features your car has.

Let’s talk specifically about Blind Spot Detection…

Blind Spot Detection is a great safety feature on an automobile. But, you cannot substitute that for looking over your shoulder because it is not infallible and unless you maintain the old good driving practice of looking before you change lanes, you could get yourself in trouble.

Speaking of trouble…

With all the features of a modern automobile from texting right on down, most of these things are a distraction and distracted driving is never a good thing. It is always dangerous. So, use good common sense when exploring all of the neat features of your vehicle.