Michael J. Gaffney Attorney at Law
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Older drivers distracted not by phones, but by the vehicle itself

One of the biggest safety concerns on the New York roadways is distracted drivers. This is frequently perceived as being due to smartphone use behind the wheel. Since devices are becoming more advanced and people of all ages seem to have one, it can spark auto accidents with injuries and fatalities. In the past, common catalysts for auto crashes were driving under the influence, recklessness, negligence and drowsy drivers. Today, distracted driving is a justifiable fear for a significant number of accidents.

However, distraction does not necessarily need to be limited to a handheld device. A new AAA study shows another form of distracted driving is especially troublesome for older drivers. In the study, seniors who get behind the wheel in newer vehicles are having problems with the technology available. It is generally situated in the dashboard causing them to be distracted. Although there are benefits to this technology in getting directions and for other needs, it is taking time for older drivers to grow accustomed to it and this is placing them and others in danger of an auto accident.

A representative for AAA says that drivers are shifting their eyes back and forth from the road to the technology, placing them at risk. In its testing, older drivers drove new vehicles that were equipped with the advancements. Those 55 and older took eight seconds longer than millennials to use navigation tools and to make calls. In that time span, people can be put in inordinate danger as taking one's eyes from the road for as few as two seconds as much as doubles the danger of an auto accident. Touchscreens are not considered the main issue. Voice commands require a level of focus and that takes the required attention away from driving the vehicle.

These systems are still being adjusted, so eventually there might be less of a distraction when using them. For now, it is a major risk. When there is an auto accident, there can be many causes. Currently, distracted drivers are one of the fastest growing categories for accidents with injuries and fatalities. Medical expenses, the inability to work, the need to rehabilitate and financial struggle are all possible after an automobile accident. Having legal assistance is imperative to determine the cause of the accident and to move forward with a lawsuit to be compensated.

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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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