When it comes to car manufacturers, the newest arms race for marketing a make or model is the inclusion of so-called infotainment systems. These combinations of hardware and software installed in vehicles can give the driver options to send text messages, navigate, or turn on a new podcast. But according to a new study from AAA, these technological advances can be a dangerous distraction.

The study, which was performed by the University of Utah on behalf of AAA, sought to rate 30 different 2017-model vehicles by how much attention their infotainment systems demanded. The participants in the study were between the ages of 21 and 36 years old. During the course of the study, the participants would use voice commands and touch screens to place phone calls, send text messages, navigate, or listen to music.

The study separated the vehicles into four groups based on the overall demand for attention each vehicle required of its driver. These four demand groups were Low, Moderate, High, and Very High. In the end, none of the 30 vehicles were considered to have an infotainment system that had low demand. Out of the remaining three groups, seven required a moderate demand of their drivers, 11 required high demand, and 12 required a very high demand.

The study tracked four activities that diverted driver attention:

  • Listening to the Radio
  • Tuning the Radio or Talking on the Phone
  • Texting
  • Using GPS Navigation

According to the study, merely listening to the radio was the least demanding, but it still involved a low level of demand for the driver’s attention. Changing the radio station or speaking on the phone was the second least-demanding, followed by texting. The study found that attempting to use GPS navigation was by far the most distracting aspect of infotainment systems in the models surveyed.

Researchers found that drivers took their eyes off the road for up to 40 seconds at a time while attempting to operate the GPS navigation system in some of these vehicles. To put that amount of time into perspective, a distraction of only one or two seconds is enough to lead to a collision.

It is easy to blame the addition of screens or even visual technology within windshields, but researchers are quick to point out that even voice-activated controls can be dangerous. The research shows that anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the core function of operating a motor vehicle can lead to an accident.

Contact a Georgia Attorney

Distracted driving has long been a major threat on Georgia roadways. If you suffered an injury in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Attorney Chase Elleby is an experienced trial lawyer who has obtained substantial settlements and verdicts on behalf of his injured clients. Joel Williams Law, LLC, will evaluate your case for free and accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t pay us anything unless we successfully obtain the compensation you deserve in your case. Joel Williams Law, LLC, is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, but represents injured clients throughout the state. To set up your free consultation, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, at (404) 389-1035.

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