Newer cars feature an increasing array of electronics systems which enhance safety and driver control. But in the case of Head-Up Displays (HUDs), safety advocates are concerned that without standards, they could just be another gadget that distracts drivers.

HUD technology displays information, such as speed and direction, directly on the windshield instead of the dashboard. The idea originated in military aircraft, allowing pilots to focus their eyes on targets and avoid looking down at their instrument panel. Car manufacturers believe these will provide a similar benefit to drivers, allowing them to stay focused on the road ahead.

Currently, most commercially available HUDs only display speedometer and GPS information. But some automakers would like to add integration with safety features such as collision and obstacle detection. For example, instead of just getting a vibration in the steering wheel and a beeping noise when an object crosses the path of a car, the object could be highlighted in red on a the windshield. This could allow a driver to immediately judge the exact location of the object, making it easier to avoid.

However, the National Safety Council has expressed concern about lack of standards. Car makers could be tempted by feature creep, adding excessive bloat to a technology with unnecessary functions to offer more to customers. Some companies are exploring adding common smartphone functions, like text messaging, browsing playlists and searching for local attractions to HUD technology. Although these companies claim they will reduce distraction since drivers do not have to look down at their phone, their attention will still be divided and could be more of a distraction than just keeping your phone turned off.

Although HUD technology has potential to improve safety, it could create more unsafe drivers if it is developed without proper standards. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of automobile accidents in the U.S. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact a Silver Spring injury lawyer at Goldberg Finnegan today for a case evaluation. We will help you and your family get the compensation you need.