I admit it -- I like TV as much as the next guy. I love the Food Network and I tune in to MTV religiously every Monday night to see what the Teen Moms are up to. But television in the front seat of your car?
Recently, Senior Editor Chuck Murray told you about this, and I can't help but wonder -- who can't wait to get home in order to see what the Kardashians are complaining about? Is a DVR considered passé?
Luckily, regulators, automakers, and suppliers told us front-seat television technology is unlikely to take hold here in the US. A Toyota spokesman said his company is "categorically against it." But, there are aftermarket companies out there who sell and install conversion kits.
One such company offers this disclaimer:
Warning: The vehicle driver must always keep their eyes and attention on the road at all times.
In my opinion, by offering the technology, they are basically saying: We don't want you to watch TV and drive, but here's a TV for the front seat of your car so you can watch TV and drive.
There should be a law, but there isn't, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A Google search will tell you exactly what you can and can't do with your cellphone in any given state, but you apparently have free rein to watch the boobtube while speeding down the interstate.
I contacted a few different police departments, hoping to get their take on this new technology -- so far, the only response I have received came from the Seattle, WA, PD who said, "We typically don't offer up opinion in situations likes this; it's something we try to steer clear of." (No pun intended.)
Can't say that I blame them.
What do you think? Would you outfit your in-dash navigation to function as a television? Tell us in the comments section below.
Interesting thought on the heads-up displays, bobjengr. I still have mixed thoughts about that one. On one hand, it does keep your eyes in front of you, instead of needing to glance down to see the instruments, etc. On the other hand, I would almost think that there would be too much "stuff" in your field of vision that would be a distraction. Anybody have any real world eperience that would prove one way or the other?
At the state level there are bans on all video distraction devices. Also, people do not want to die, for the most part. So, watching TV is usually not an action in cars. However, texting is... and almost worse.
Also, the TVs in my car are disconnected... They drain the battery. They are cheap screens and the power supply is wasteful.
Good point, Nancy. Wouldn't you think that an adult driver would be able to distinguish between needs and wants, and would be able limit herself/himself to only the absolute needs while driving? Apparently, that's not the case, though.
Excellent Post Jennifer. I am totally opposed to TV installation in the front seat. Rear seat --OK, good for the kids and keeps them preoccupied during travel. Several days ago I made comments relative to a post that Charles delivered relative to this same subject. In doing so, I looked up the stats regarding auto accidents due to texting, talking on cell phones, etc. Approximately 30 % of the accidents were due to these two occurrences. I'm one of these guys who says thinks that "heads-up" displays for automobiles is waiting in the wings just to insure people stay focused regardless of what they do.
My point is that if there were a simple and very clear law enacted that most folks would not be able to install such systems.
Of course an even clearer case is made for enforcing those existing laws mandating personal responsibility, but we have way to many people who deny the existance of personal responsibility for one's acts.
"They have done it based on alleged emisssions, and they have done it based on crash worthyness"
....And this is why we have big, heavy cars with lousy mileage. The Federal government is NOT the answer to all of life's unpleasantries. They have WAY too much involvement in our day to day lives as it is. Were you aware that the Federal government is only SUPPOSED to do two things? National defense and protect our borders. That's it. Neither of which they are doing very well.
Of course you're not going to get a car with a liquor dispenser. You can install one yourself just like you can modify your car's existing monitor to display videos or TV. Not only do neither of these options make any sense, they're already plenty of laws preventing the use of either. DIU, Open container, reckless driving, etc.
My point is that more laws and regulations are not the answer. Common sense must prevail. Just enforce the laws we already have. We're drowning in them now and it's killing our economy. I'm actually quite surprised the feds didn't place an immediate ban on the over the counter sale of pressure cookers in light last month's terror attack.
"Consumers demand it???" How about a built in liquer dispenser for the driver, based on "the consumers demand it"? This is where our federal government should get into the action and simply say that "you can't sell a car like that here". They have done it based on alleged emisssions, and they have done it based on crash worthyness, so the safety people should certainly be able to stop it based on driver distraction, unless they have been paid off so well that they don't notice the problem. And some of their actions certainly give the impresion that they must be getting paid off to let some things slide by.
Please note that I don't recommend any form of booze dispensors in the front seat of a car. I have seen some of them, though. They were quite interesting.
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