AAA study says infotainment systems can be distracting

Infotainment systems can offer several useful features for drivers in New York, but some are irrelevant to driving and only serve as potential distractions. University of Utah researchers analyzed 30 infotainment systems on 2017 model vehicles and found that all of them demanded a moderate, high or very high level of attention. Participants in the study were drivers aged 21 to 36 who were asked to use the systems behind the wheel.

The results of this study, which was conducted for AAA, may be surprising to some. Drivers became quickly distracted, swerving out of lanes, ignoring stop signs and driving far below the posted speed limit. Researchers found that using the GPS and the feature for sending texts were the two most distracting tasks. They mentally and visually distracted drivers for more than 40 seconds each.

For comparison, previous research claims that looking away from the street for 2 seconds could double the risk of a car accident. This study also found that using voice commands, though they free up the hands, will still mentally occupy drivers and make them inattentive. The same goes for listening to the radio.

Researchers are clear in saying that calling, texting and surfing the web are not to be combined with driving. However, they acknowledge that other issues are involved, such as complicated dashboards and a lack of fully tested technology.

Nevertheless, it's important not to let technology get in the way of driving. If distracted operation is to blame for a motor vehicle crash, an injured victim may be able to file a claim for compensation. Damages could include medical expenses, rehabilitative care, lost wages and more. The victim could hire a lawyer to strengthen the case and negotiate for a settlement.

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