City officials have installed sensors near several parking meters in Sundance Square and connected to them to Parker, an iPhone app that tracks where available parking meters are located and guides drivers to them.
This has both the potential to lower and increase car accidents in Fort Worth. On the one hand, not being able to find a parking spot is a frustrating venture. As you continue circling the same three city blocks, your irritation rises and eventually can overrun sensible thinking – convincing you that, yes, your F250 Supercab can fit into that “compact car only” space. Or you try and beat another car to a coveted spot – fending two benders in the process. In this case, having an app that can guide you to available parking spots can prevent the rash decision making that results from wearily looking for a place to park.
On the other hand, this app could actually lead to an increase in accidents. Many accident lawyers can cite studies that state driving distracted (e.g. using a smart phone app) is as bad as driving drunk – and can lead to car accidents. Fort Worth apparently agrees; according to Fox’s report, city officials “recommend users scope out the area before coming to downtown and have a passenger help navigate with the app so the driver can focus on the road.”
Other cities, such as Los Angeles, already use the Parker app. Fort Worth is running the Sundance Square pilot program with plans to expand if it proves successful.
Drive safely, Dallas.