Distracted driving could spike upon in-car app release

Think about all the things that already distract Illinois drivers: texting, music, other passengers, GPS adjustments and other items in the car. What if the next problem becomes shopping while driving?

General Motors announced the release of an in-vehicle shopping app called Marketplace that has already drawn the attention of the National Safety Council. This app, which would be accessible on the vehicle’s dashboard console, allows drivers to order food, make hotel reservations and even purchase grocery items – all while racing down the highway.

Obviously, this technology could be great for advertisers. They would be able to reach audiences through a medium with fewer competitors. On your way to work, you might be more tempted to buy a cup of coffee because pre-paying on the road could save time once you reach the café.

However, the National Safety Council is gravely concerned about this behavior. Distractions are part of nearly one in every four crashes, after all. Drivers who are looking down to decide which entrée to order could fail to spot pedestrians, cyclists or another vehicle. The consequences of this app could be deadly.

Although the auto company assures that the app follows safety guidelines, any affect on distracted driving remains to be found. General Motors believes that the app could appear in 4 million vehicles by this time next year.

Whether a driver was distracted by shopping, texting, or any other dangerous activity, collisions can lead to serious injuries and repair costs. Anyone who has become a victim of negligent driving may need help proving both the cause and result of a crash.