The majority of U.S. states have banned texting while driving. In an effort to attract new buyers, automakers are introducing larger and more advanced dashboard displays, some of which allow drivers to read text messages. Lawmakers and safety experts are concerned about the potential for increased levels of distracted driving based on the latest trends in dashboard technology.
The dashboard displays on new vehicles are larger than previous versions. They are also more closely aligned with functions provided by the latest smart phones. Automakers allege that the new displays will improve safety because the touch screens are larger, and therefore easier to use, and also because they are more easily operated through voice controls. Critics contend that the devices encourage drivers to take their eyes off the road for unsafe periods of time.