11 Mar 2020

Pros and Cons of Virtual Car Keys

Posted By Darrigo & Diaz

The car key is coming to your smartphone. But is it safe?

The day is dawning when vehicle owners may never have to look for their car keys again.

On March 3, 2020, Apple announced the availability of an automotive virtual key solution that enables iPhones and Apple Watches to unlock, lock and start certain NFC-compatible vehicles. The virtual keys are stored in the Wallet app and can be shared via text message to individuals you trust.

While virtual car keys are innovative and convenient, the reliance on technology introduces new risks. Here are some of the pros and cons of virtual car keys.

Pros of virtual car keys

  • Virtual car keys make it easier to unlock, lock, and start your vehicle.
  • Virtual car keys can be shared via text message to drivers you trust. This is particularly useful for families sharing a vehicle. It also eliminates the need to purchase additional physical keys for cars, which can run upwards of $500.
  • Virtual car keys cannot be locked inside of a car.
  • Virtual car keys are not easily misplaced. Since they are stored on your smartphone, which can be easily pinged or called, your keys will be harder to lose.
  • Virtual car keys eliminate the risk of thieves stealing physical keys, ensuring a heightened level of personal security. Plus, most of us use a password or facial recognition on our smartphones, which places our virtual car keys behind a very secure access point.

Cons of virtual car keys

  • Virtual car keys can’t be easily given to valets or mechanics—yet—which means you will still have to use your physical keys in certain situations.
  • Virtual car keys introduce new cybersecurity threats that are not fully understood. For example, hackers may be able to access your virtual car keys if you unintentionally download malware via an app on your smartphone.
  • Virtual car keys unlock cars from a distance of 30 feet. This is longer than the traditional key fob, thereby creating more space and time for thieves to steal a car as a driver approaches.
  • Virtual car keys can be obsolete if you drop and shatter your smartphone, or if your smartphone is lost or stolen.

Are virtual car keys another distraction for drivers?

Virtual car keys are not intended for use while driving, but smartphone technology is largely responsible for the growing number of distracted driving accidents. According to the State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving in Florida, which is more than five crashes every hour. These distracted driving crashes accounted for more than 3,500 serious injuries and 233 deaths. 2

As a society, we are becoming more dependent upon our smartphones in everyday life. We text, email, scroll through social media, take photos, listen to music, watch movies, get directions, shop, play games, search the internet and use countless apps for nearly every modern company on our smartphones. Now, with even more functionality being given to these devices, we will become increasingly consumed with using smartphones in some way at all times.

Fighting distracted driving is something all of us can – and should – be doing. To learn more, check out our blog on the 5 DISTRACTED DRIVING MYTHS: DO YOU BELIEVE THESE?

Injured in a crash with a distracted driver in Tampa?

If you were involved in a Tampa distracted driving accident, it’s important that you contact an experienced personal injury firm right away. At Darrigo & Diaz, we understand how serious and catastrophic a distracted driving accident can be for victims and their families. We handle everything for our clients, available 24/7 whenever you need us.

Led by Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, Nadine Diaz, our Tampa Bay personal injury law firm is an esteemed member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. We have over 20 years of experience settling thousands of personal injury claims for a wide range of accidents and injuries, including those involving challenging issues and life-altering circumstances.

If you’ve been injured in a Tampa distracted driving accidnent, receive a free case evaluation today and find out how Darrigo & Diaz may be able to help you! Call 813-774-3341.

Categories: Distracted Driving
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