In Missouri and across the nation, distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that is the catalyst for a litany of auto accidents, injuries and loss of life. While drivers, law enforcement and legislators are cognizant of the issue and are taking steps to mitigate, reduce and stop it, it is unavoidable that drivers will be distracted. How they are distracted is also expanding from people using their smartphones to eating. This must be considered when there is an auto accident and the investigation is seeking to determine if distracted driving was a cause.

A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that infotainment systems are leading to people becoming a distracted driver. In the study, different kinds of infotainment systems were examined to determine the level of distraction while using them. Google’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay were not as distracting as systems that were installed by the car manufacturer. That, however, does not imply that using these systems is safe just because one type is safer than the other. All types make it risky when using them while driving.

What the driver is doing with the system when driving is a significant factor in the level of distraction and how long it lasts. Performing a complex task on the system is more distracting than a simpler task and can cause the driver to veer into other lanes, fail to see a pedestrian or travel through a stop sign. With the infotainment systems from Google and Apple, for example, a phone call was completed five seconds more quickly than with the built-in systems. Navigation is done approximately 15 seconds faster. Even with that, navigating requires greater attention than other tasks and increases the danger.

Since there are around 3,500 fatalities and 390,000 injuries in the U.S. due to distracted driving every year, this is a major problem. Those who were hurt in a crash with a distracted driver must know what steps to take to seek compensation in a legal filing. Seeking legal guidance following a distracted driving accidents is critical to moving forward with a claim for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.