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Heads up displays may not be all they are cracked up to be

If you are in the market for a new car, chances are that you have been shown a new model that has a “heads up” display as one of its features. This new technology, which has been seen on a number of luxury vehicles for the last year, is essentially a display of certain information points from a car’s instrument panel where a driver may see them in their line of sight; basically floating out before the road ahead.

The thought behind heads up displays is that if a driver doesn’t have to take their eyes off the road, they are less likely to be in an accident caused by distracted driving. After all, between using cell phones, changing radio stations and monitoring speed are primary culprits in distracted driving accidents, and the less distractions at a given time, the less of a risk of being in a crash. 

This notion may be lost on some safety advocates who believe that having an additional piece of information to be seen, even if the driver does not have to look away from the road to see it, is still a hazard because the brain only has so much capacity to process information. Simply put, the brain cannot pay attention to the heads up display and the road ahead of them at the same time.

Nevertheless, drivers still have to use reasonable care while behind the wheel, regardless of the types information displays a car may have. Also failing to use such care could result in liability and financial consequences. 

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