The Johnson Law Firm, LLC

A distracted driver can stem from new vehicle safety systems

Distracted driving is an issue in Missouri and across the U.S. This is such an enduring problem that attempts to reduce its frequency have extended beyond law enforcement citation and governmental campaigns to educate people on its inherent risk. One strategy that is being undertaken is to install systems that do not require significant attention from the driver and will not divert their eyes and mental focus from the road. These systems are also referred to as "infotainment." The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study to examine them and gauge the risk with using them.

In the study, the University of Utah did tests to find out which tasks exerted the highest demands on a driver, determine how much demand was needed for the input of information into the system, and if there is a disparity between vehicles. Thirty vehicles were tested. Of those, 23 had levels of demand that were classified as high or very high. Phone calls, text messages, using the navigation system, and adjusting the radio were all behaviors that required a distracting amount of attention from the drivers.

All methods drivers used to work with the systems were found to be demanding for the drivers. For drivers who are using the system to navigate, this occupies the driver's brain for an extended period and they will often look away from the road simultaneously. In the study, there were 120 licensed drivers. They ranged in age from 21 to 36. The road was residential and there was a 25-mph speed limit. Light traffic was on the road.

When there is a car crash, one of the first thoughts of those involved is that it might have been caused by a distracted driver. It is imperative that there be a crash reconstruction to assess how the crash occurred. This can be vital in a legal filing to recover compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages and even loss of life that comes along with many car accidents. Discussing a case with a legal professional experienced in pursuing car accident claims is key.

Source: cnet.com, "New infotainment tech causes big distractions, AAA study finds," Andrew Krok, Oct. 5, 2017

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