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Despite better safety, infotainment leads to distracted drivers

New Yorkers are keenly aware of the dangers distracted drivers represent. Often, these drivers are thought to be texting and driving or using their smartphones for other purposes behind the wheel. In an effort to make it safer to use modern technology while driving, car companies and outside manufacturers are trying to create new methods and simultaneously improve safety. Infotainment systems that are meant to make driving and using these innovations safer come in different forms. Some tested as safer than others, but they were also shown to require cognitive attention that still places people in danger.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in combination with the University of Utah examined infotainment systems that were installed by the car manufacturer and those from outside sources Google and Apple. The latter two reduced the level of attention needed and time to complete various tasks. However, there remained a danger for drivers to be distracted. Researchers continue to tell drivers that using devices while behind the wheel is risky.

In the tests, the researchers gauged drivers' reaction time as they did various tasks with the automakers' infotainment and the outside companies' systems. They sent texts, made phone calls, changed the music station, and used navigation systems. With Google and Apple, they completed the tasks five seconds sooner when making phone calls. It was 15 seconds faster to use the navigation software. Even with that, the time was not sufficient to avoid a crash. Since a distraction lasting two seconds doubles the danger of being in a crash, the drivers are not much safer than they were before.

Drivers are advised to shun the use of any distracting devices when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the likelihood is that they will continue to use them and this will keep causing auto accidents. After these collisions, people who have been injured might need to pay medical expenses, lose time at work and have longstanding problems because of the injuries they suffered. The loss of a loved one can be an emotional, financial and personal issue that is difficult to get beyond. Pursuing a legal filing following motor vehicle accidents can help bring compensation and closure.

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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