Researchers have conducted a study for AAA that show how distracting infotainment systems can be. Virginia residents who want these and other new tech on their cars should know what the dangers are since no one is immune to distracted driving. The study involved 30 new 2017 vehicles with infotainment systems. A group of drivers aged 21 to 36 participated by using the systems while behind the wheel.
As might be expected, drivers became negligent, swerving completely out of their lanes, failing to halt at stop signs and traveling at excessively slow speeds. Every activity, even listening to the radio, proved distracting at some level. Of the 30 infotainment systems, none could be classified as demanding only a low level of attention. Seven came with a moderate demand, 11 with a high demand and 12 with a very high.
GPS use and texting were the two most visually and mentally distracting activities, leaving drivers inattentive for more than 40 seconds at a time. This number is startling, considering how looking away from the road for two seconds can double one's car crash risk.
It appears that manufacturers are being indiscriminate as to what they include on infotainment systems. Researchers also argue that many systems are not properly tested and that some make the simplest commands hard to carry out.
Inattention, distractions, drowsiness and other factors can make drivers negligent behind the wheel. When negligence is behind a motor vehicle accident, it opens up the driver's auto insurance company to the possibility of litigation. Victims who wish to file a claim may first want to hire an attorney, who might in turn hire third parties to gather proof of negligence and measure the extent of injuries. The attorney may then be able to negotiate for a settlement out of court.