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Heads up displays may be dangerous

If you're in the market for a new car, it is likely that manufacturers and car salespeople will try to sway you with information and explanations about the latest technical upgrades. Many focus on safety, such as proximity sensors and back up cameras. However, the newest upgrades are created to make driving and following directions easier.

With that, some new cars include a display that can help drivers see icons on their windshields. Essentially, images from the dashboard or a navigational system would appear driver's line of sight so that their eyes do not leave the road. These displays are called "heads up displays" or HUDs. They are available on the Mercedes Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series and a host of other luxury vehicles.  

But what may be designed to promote safety may not be the safest thing for drivers. After all, something that detracts the driver's attention could be hazardous; at least that is what the AAA Foundation for Safety may have you believe. In a 2013 study, researchers found that mental distractions, such as those created by additional displays and instructions, may overload a person's capacity to process information. It could be like reading a newspaper while having a conversation; you can't effectively do both.

While the research may be disputed, the duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel is not. Drivers must do what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances. If avoiding heads up displays that could distract you is considered reasonable, then it may be better to say no to heads up displays.

The preceding is not legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only

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