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A Surprising Source of Distracted Driving

Infotainment SystemTechnology is now an integral part of new motor vehicles. Most newer vehicles to allow drivers to control the car’s navigation system, music selection, radio, temperature settings, and more, using a touch screen. These “infotainment” systems are used by about one out of three drivers today. While technologic advances in automobiles are beneficial in many ways, there is also a concern that they can cause extremely dangerous driving behaviors.

A Growing Problem

According to a study from The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, infotainment systems are putting drivers, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes off the road and hands off the wheel when they are making selections on touch screens. Even though this lapse in attention is only a few moments, it can be deadly. Federal estimates report that distracted driving was responsible for 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in 2015.

The average user of infotainment features is visually and mentally distracted for over 40 seconds when using the system. If that motorist is driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour, they will be driving without looking where they are going for a distance of almost 1000 meters. Distracted driving is so dangerous that drivers who only take their eyes away from the road for two seconds actually double their chances of being in a car accident.

New Dangers

Generally, when we think of distracted driving, the image of a person eating a messy cheeseburger or typing on their smart phone while driving comes to mind. However, as more research is done, we may continue to find that some features of vehicles are distractions themselves. Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explains, “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.”

The purpose of technology should be to make our lives easier, but sometimes the opposite is true. Drivers who are unfamiliar with infotainment systems in their vehicles may take longer to complete a task on a touch screen or via voice control than they would using physical knobs and buttons. This means that even more of their attention is taken away from the task of driving. Ideally, individuals with infotainment systems installed in their car would only use those systems while the vehicle is stopped, but for many, the temptation to adjust a setting while driving is irresistible.

Injured by a Distracted Driver?

At Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., our experienced Monterey County car accident attorneys represent victims of all types of distracted driving accidents. We believe that negligent drivers should be held accountable for the harm they cause and that those injured by such negligence deserve compensation. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your car accident case, call us at (408) 298-7200 today.

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