If you drive a newer model vehicle, it may have an infotainment system installed by the manufacturer. These systems have dashboard-mounted screens that can distract drivers from the task at hand — piloting the vehicle safely through traffic to the destination.

As stated by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, even the features that are activated by drivers’ voices can cause deadly preoccupation. The executive director of the foundation stated that “[s]ome in-vehicle technolog[ies] . . . create unsafe situations for drivers . . . by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel.”

The foundation estimates that when drivers use touch screens to adjust navigation systems or text via voice recognition techniques, they can be distracted for longer than 40 seconds behind the wheel.

Researchers at the University of Utah partnered with AAA to determine the length of time it takes drivers to use their infotainment systems to text and change radio stations while driving. They studied 30 different kinds of late-model automobiles even though not all new vehicles allow drivers to interact with navigation systems while tooling down the highway.

A dozen autos provided drivers with these capabilities. Researchers found that the average interaction lasted 40 seconds while drivers completed the task. This is especially alarming when prior studies indicate that a distraction of only a couple of seconds doubles the collision risk.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a driver who was distracted, you may decide to explore the different ways you can pursue compensation for your injuries and other associated expenses.

Source: The Car Connection, “AAA: Infotainment systems increase distractions, risk of accidents,” A. Mark Miller, Oct. 09, 2017