Technology is meant to make life easier and increase the safety of people as they go about their daily activities. In a city as bustling as New York with the number of vehicles on the road and people everywhere, this is a beneficial endeavor. When carmakers place "infotainment" systems into their newer vehicles, it is to try and prevent distracted drivers from using their smartphones and to improve navigation. However, a new study from AAA indicates that these systems are causing drivers to look down and away from the road just as smartphones are perceived to do.
According to AAA, people who are utilizing the touch screen on the infotainment system or are simply using their voice to activate it can be distracted by 40 seconds or more. Researchers had drivers use these systems for a variety of conventional tasks such as sending a text message, changing the radio station and more. They drove 30 different kinds of vehicles from the 2017 model year. Not every vehicle gave drivers the option of navigating while driving, but 12 did. Drivers averaged 40 seconds navigating. This was the longest amount of time it took to complete the tasks.
Prior research has shown that when a driver is distracted by two seconds, accident risk doubles. Twenty-three of the 30 systems that were tested required either high or very high levels of concentration. The other seven were classified as moderate. None were low. Since mental energy is expended while using these systems and drivers are cognitively unaware of the road when using them, this can lead to dangers to others, cause wrecks and result in serious injuries and death.
People are becoming fundamentally aware of the dangers of texting and driving and other distracting activities behind the wheel. Previously, it was believed that smartphones were the main cause of this, but this new study shows that even systems designed to tamp down on the risks can be distracting. When there is car accident, people affected can be injured, need surgical procedures, lose wages from missed time at work, have issues functioning normally, and even die. Seeking assistance from an attorney experienced in motor vehicle accidents is imperative to investigating the incident to determine if distraction was a cause and filing a claim to be compensated.
Source: thecarconnection.com, "AAA: Infotainment systems increase distractions, risk of accidents," Oct. 9, 2017