Infotainment systems found to distract drivers

Researchers at the University of Utah have analyzed 30 infotainment systems on new 2017 vehicles, finding that all of them were distracting to drivers at one level or another. This study was made for AAA and should be of interest to anyone in Texas who's interested in the new tech but worried about its implications.

The results were clearly seen when participants of the study, who were told to use the infotainment systems while driving, engaged in various unsafe behaviors. For example, they would ignore stop signs, swerve out of their lanes and drive at a speed considerably below what was posted. Of the 30 systems, none were found to demand only a low level of attention. Eleven demanded a high level and 12 a very high amount.

The main issue is that so many of the features, such as calling, texting, checking social media and finger painting, are irrelevant to driving. Drivers who used the GPS and texting features would be distracted for more than 40 seconds, making them the most dangerous activities by far. Previous studies say that taking one's eyes away from the road for two seconds doubles the chances of a car wreck occurring.

The features themselves are not the only problem. Some dashboards are so complicated that the easiest actions become difficult. Many infotainment systems are not fully tested, and so they cannot be said to be safe.

Drivers need to take this fact into account because they cannot blame anyone but themselves if they become distracted and cause an auto accident. Those who are hurt and believe they contributed little to the accident can seek legal counsel because they may be eligible for damages. A lawyer could negotiate for the maximum settlement possible, covering medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages and more. As a last resort, victims can have their attorney prepare for litigation.

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