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"Infotainment" increases chances of being a distracted driver

Texans are aware of distracted drivers and the damage they can cause. Recently, new laws and enforcement have been part of the process of trying to reduce texting and driving and taking part in other distracting behaviors, mostly with smartphones. However, a new issue has been discussed as leading to a distracted driver: technology built in with late-model vehicles. AAA conducted a study regarding this issue, and it is important.

According to AAA, this new "infotainment" technology removes drivers' attention from the road, rendering dangerous the exact technology that is meant to improve safety. A touch screen is viewed as problematic because it forces drivers to use visual and mental demands at a high level. In tests, 30 different vehicles were driven in residential areas and drivers were discovered to be distracted for longer than 40 seconds, as they used the infotainment to send text messages or use its navigator.

When a driver is moving at 25 mph, 40 seconds can let them go more than 400 yards -- or four football fields -- without watching where they are going. Studies have shown that drivers whose attention deviates from the road for as little as two seconds are at twice the risk for an auto accident. Carmakers are being encouraged to try to lower the risk of distraction by creating systems that are less demanding on the driver's mental and physical attention.

With these studies, it becomes even more important that drivers who are in a crash have legal help in investigating how and why it happened. A distracted driver can cause injuries and fatalities that will have a substantial influence on the lives of those involved. In many instances, a legal filing is the only way to receive adequate compensation. Discussing the matter with a legal professional experienced in car accidents can help.

Source: dfw.cbslocal.com, "AAA: Drivers Increasingly Distracted By Dashboard Technology," Oct. 5, 2017

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