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New vehicle features are causing distractions on the road

Most people picture drivers sending text messages or playing games on their phones when thinking of distracted driving. Today, distracted driving can be caused by built-in vehicle technology. Evolving vehicle features, nicknamed “infotainment systems” have added a new dimension to the conversation on driver safety. Tech-filled cars have recently been proven to increase driver distraction to dangerous levels.

New vehicle technologies such as touch screen features and voice-based systems are used to access the internet, send texts, voice command vehicle and more. A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that this increasingly popular technology is causing drivers to keep their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for far too long.

Complicated systems cause dangerous distraction

In-vehicle technology may be intended to create ease for drivers, but it only causes confusion when designed improperly. Seemingly simple tasks such as sending a text message can require extra effort when the system is too complicated. This can keep the driver’s eyes off the road for over 40 seconds. Taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds at 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Keeping your eyes on an in-vehicle screen for 40 seconds can easily cause a motor vehicle accident.

The recently published study intends to help vehicle makers improve vehicle technology design. The study measured the level of distraction in 30 new 2017 vehicles. This research looked at how difficult it is for drivers to do tasks such as sending texts, making calls, tuning the radio and navigating, all while driving. Each vehicle system placed moderate to very high demand on the driver’s attention.

Which vehicle models create the most distraction?

While new vehicle models are designed to keep drivers safer, they also include potentially distracting technology due to consumer demand. New Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Dodge, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Nissan and Hyundai models demanded “moderate” or “high” levels of attention from drivers. Listed below are some of, but not all, the vehicles that were found to require “very high” demand:

  • Audi Q7 QPP
  • Dodge Durango GT
  • GMC Yukon SLT
  • Honda Civic Touring
  • Nissan Armada SV
  • Subaru Crosstrek Premium
  • Tesla Model S

Distracted drivers are highly dangerous on the road. They can cause vehicle accidents and driver injuries. The result of an accident can include auto shop bills, hospital bills and lost wages due to an injury. Anyone facing injuries due to a distracted driver should contact an attorney. They may be owed compensation for their damages.

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