As if cell phones weren’t distracting enough, car manufacturers are clogging dashboards with enough gadgets to ensure drivers' attention is on anything but the road, the New York Times reports. With driver distraction figuring in 80% of crashes, front-seat DVD players and the like enrage safety advocates. “You’re looking at a situation that could rival drunk driving,” said one expert.
In some places, laws are in the works to ban front-seat distractions, just as many states have outlawed drivers from talking on cell phones. But Detroit is relentlessly pursuing new additions to what some call mobile “family rooms.” “It has to bring you gratification,” said Chrysler’s chairman. “It’s incidental that it gets you from Point A to Point B, right?”