The New Car Distraction: Tablets and iPads

This is a guest article by Brooke Kerwin, a passionate advocate against distracted driving. 

With the influx of smart phones taking over the population over the last few years, there has certainly been an increased effort to limit the effect that technology can have on driving. In the past year or two, tablets have become the tech product to start to sweep through the market, and along with that success there’s an inevitable safety risk that’s come when they’re being used in an automobile.

The most popular tablet-style device on the market is the iPad from Apple. In the same way that some of their previous products, like the iPhone and iPods before them, the iPads can certainly pose a risk in the automobile. Distracted driving is something that can arise from a number of different things, whether it’s something outside the car or something inside it doesn’t really matter.

Today’s tablet explosion has happened because of their ability to combine a number of different entertainment platforms into one. A number of these entertainment platforms are things that people rely on for car rides, including personal music, checking e-mail, listening to the radio, and even movies or television for passengers riding along. The problem becomes similar to the use of a smart phone in a car. Often time’s drivers can become distracted by trying to tune into an online radio platform, or trying to span through their music in the tablet’s library.

The use of a tablet by a passenger can even end up leading to a case of distracted driving. Someone riding in the passenger seat could be watching a movie or streaming a sporting event, causing the driver to begin taking constant looks down to check on what’s going on. Certainly one of the bigger risks with distracted drivers is constant lapses in attention, which is something tablets in the car can definitely end up causing.

In the end, it’s important to be clear on what’s distracting inside the car. For some drivers, having a tablet in the car for minimal use or letting others in the car may not be that harmless. Regardless over individual effects, there’s no question that as technology continues to develop, there are going to be a litany of new hurdles in the effort to minimize distraction inside the car.