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Car infotainment systems are too distracting, says AAA

Connecticut drivers who are interested in the latest vehicle tech should also understand the potential drawbacks, especially with dashboard gadgets and GPSs. A recent AAA study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah shows that car infotainment systems, which come with GPSs and features for calling, texting, surfing the web and so on, distract drivers and raise the risk for an accident.

Previous research shows that looking away from the road for two seconds doubles car crash risk. In light of this, the results of this current study can be startling. Researchers had a group of drivers aged 21 to 36 use the infotainment systems found on 30 new 2017 vehicles, all while on the road. Their distracted behaviors included swerving out of lanes, ignoring stop signs and driving under the posted speed limit.

Drivers were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when using the GPS or texting feature. Even using voice commands and listening to the radio were distracting. Of the 30 systems, seven had a moderate demand for drivers' attention, 11 a high demand and 12 a very high demand.

Many features are irrelevant to driving, but that's not the sole problem. Because of the complexity of new technology, some systems can be poorly designed and make simple actions complicated. Furthermore, not all systems have been fully tested.

It's important to remember that a distracted driver is a negligent driver, no matter the cause of that inattention. If distracted driving causes a personal injury case, the victim may be eligible for financial compensation. Actually filing the claim and achieving a reasonable settlement is another matter, however, so it's important to have a lawyer who can bring together the necessary proof and handle negotiations with the insurance carrier.

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