New technologies increase the chance of being a distracted driver

Encountering a distracted driver is a danger in Montana and throughout the nation. In general, distracted driving is believed to be linked to smartphones, texting and driving and other activities on electronic devices. However, research from AAA says that "infotainment" technology installed in newer vehicles is serving to distract drivers. These new items lead to drivers taking their eyes off the road similarly to when they are checking a smartphone and it can lead to a car accident.

The study examined these systems for the past four years. Infotainment is an option that more carmakers are offering and it lets drivers send texts and emails and use social media. These are growing more complex for drivers to operate and drive at the same time, as drivers will sometimes need to physically touch the system to operate it. The car industry states that the new systems are designed for increased safety as they are specifically intended to be used as the driver is operating the vehicle.

AAA conducted a test with 30 vehicles from the 2017 model year. Drivers looked away from the road and took their hands off the steering wheel when using the infotainment. They performed their tasks with all the alternatives with touch screen and voice activation. 23 of the 30 vehicles were determined to require very high or high attention from the drivers to operate the systems. The others were deemed "moderate." The tasks took an average of 40 seconds to complete. Drivers going 25 miles per hour can travel as much as four football fields - all while the driver is not watching the road. Statistically, looking away from the road for two seconds doubles the danger of a crash.

AAA advises drivers only to use these new technologies when they absolutely need to, but the reality is that drivers will likely use them throughout the time they are driving. A suggestion to automakers is to disable more distracting systems while the vehicle is in motion. Until significant adjustments are made, these new additions to vehicles will serve to add a new level of risk to drivers.

When there is a car crash in today's world, the reality is that the first thing up for consideration as to its cause is a distracted driver. Because a car accident can lead to injuries, a long hospital stay, surgical procedures, missed time at work and even death, those who have been affected must be aware of their rights to seek compensation. A full accident investigation must be conducted. A legal professional experienced in filing a case after an auto accident can help with all aspects from beginning to end.


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