“One of the automotive world’s newest, buzziest upgrades was once offered only for trained jet pilots: heads-up displays, projecting a buffet of colorful information on that once-sacred place of clarity, the car windshield.
Touted at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, the icon-rich displays have been installed by carmakers and tech startups as showcases for details on speed, directions, even cellphone notifications like text messages and Facebook alerts.
Carmakers argue the displays are a safeguard against fumbling with smartphones and other distractions. But safety advocates say the gadgets actually make the problem worse, by diverting drivers’ attention from the road ahead. And as carmakers compete for increasingly tech-minded buyers, some worry the displays will lead to even more dangerous roads.
‘The manufacturers of these heads-up displays, none of them have said that any of their conclusions or assertions of safety are supported by any scientific evidence’ said Joel Feldman, an attorney and president of End Distracted Driving, whose daughter, Casey, was killed by a distracted driver in 2009.
‘They’re taking the conclusion that if you’re looking straight ahead, instead of down in your lap, it’s safe, no matter what you’re doing with your mind. The science says that’s not true at all.’” [….]