Many new cars are equipped with infotainment systems designed to provide directions and connect to drivers’ smartphones to play music, text, and use social media applications, such as Twitter and Facebook. A new study revealed that these systems are major distractions and could be increasing the risk of distracted driving car accidents. The research was commissioned by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The study, titled Visual and Cognitive Demands of Using In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems, was done by researchers at the University of Utah who attempted to gauge the level of distraction created by the infotainment systems in 30 vehicles operated by 120 drivers between the ages of 21 and 36.
Researchers found that the infotainment systems in 12 of the 30 vehicles created a very high level of distraction. They described the systems in 11 cars as creating a high level of distraction, while the systems in seven cars were found to be moderately distracting.
Very high-level distraction systems in the study allowed drivers to program directions while driving. This action takes 40 seconds on average. If the car is traveling at 25 miles per hour, it will travel the length of three football fields in that duration. Even if the focus shifts back to the road for some of that time, the driver’s concentration will be divided, which could increase the risk of a distracted driving accident. These infotainment systems can also be used to send emails or text messages, which can distract drivers for up to 27 seconds.
The vehicles from the study are listed below:
Distractions from infotainment systems could potentially be reduced if automakers design distracting features to not operate while vehicles are in motion, according to Jake Nelson, the director of traffic safety advocacy and research at AAA. However, individual drivers can also prevent distracted driving and reduce the chances of taking their eyes and concentration off the road.
Taking these and other steps are crucial in helping to prevent distracted driving. You can only process so much information at one time, and every activity that pulls your attention away from the road could increase your risk of a distracted driving crash.
Distracted driving can cause accidents with severe injuries that create mounting medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. If you have been injured in a distracted driving car accident, contact our experienced Sacramento car accident attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. The Sacramento personal injury lawyers at The Arnold Law Firm have decades of combined experience and are prepared to pursue the compensation you deserve.