Cell phone use in vehicles is one of the biggest sources of distracted driving accidents, as many experienced New York car accident attorneys have seen. States have attempted to limit these risks by imposing restrictions on cell phone use in vehicles, and auto manufacturers have responded by integrating many popular smartphone features into in-vehicle displays.

Now, San Francisco-based tech company Navdy is launching a heads-up display (HUD) that offers another alternative. A HUD projects key visual information onto the windshield of the car, allowing drivers to access music, maps, and communications on their smartphones without taking their eyes off the road.

Navdy touts the devices as being a safer alternative to dashboard-mounted “heads-down displays” or handheld smartphone use. The company notes, for instance, that aircraft pilots use HUDs in many situations. However, questions remain about the safety of HUDs.

For instance, in a 2004 study, NASA concluded that HUDs did not make flying an aircraft uniformly safer. Instead, the devices improved safety in some areas but decreased it in others. They allowed pilots to see certain information more efficiently but limited their peripheral vision and attention to what was outside the plane.

A 2007 study in Germany of HUDs used in motor vehicles found similar results. The researchers discovered that HUD use limited the ability of drivers to pay attention to the road. It also regularly caused them to overestimate the distance between their own vehicle and objects ahead of them – a mistake that can easily cause a serious rear-end crash or other car accident.

Navdy is currently taking pre-orders for its HUDs and plans to put them in stores in 2015. But researchers say that more work needs to be done to determine how safe they really are. The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP will be keeping close track of this new technology as it develops.

Posted in: Distracted Driving