New cars have so many technological features that drivers are becoming more at risk of not paying attention to the road. University of Utah researchers did a study on behalf of the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety that concluded that in-vehicle information systems divert drivers’ attention just as much or more than texting.
According to the study the most dangerous thing you can do while driving is attempt to program a navigation device. Sending and receiving text messages is the second most distracting activity, and audio entertainment and making calls is third.
The study used data from in-vehicle information systems in 30 different vehicles, all of which were the latest 2017 models. Drivers in the study were asked to complete four tasks: tune the radio, program navigation, make a call, and send a text message.
Completing tasks using touch-screen and voice-based technology took some drivers more than 24 seconds, during which time their hands, eyes, and mind were not concentrating on the task of driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds is enough to double the risk of a car accident.
Distracted Driving Accidents
In 2015, distracted driving contributed to 14 percent of police-reported motor vehicle crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 10 percent of fatal crashes. There is no federal law banning cellphone use for car drivers the way there is for train engineers. Texting while driving is banned in 47 states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.), but only 15 states and D.C. have laws banning handheld cellphone use.
When drivers use cellphones, the brain’s capacity for spatial processing—the kind needed for negotiating traffic on the road—is reduced by 37 percent. A 2013 National Safety Council study found that 26 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involved cellphone use. Contrary to popular opinion, texting while driving accounted for only five percent of the total while 21 percent were caused by drivers engaged in conversation on cellphones, both hands-free and handheld.
Reducing Cellphone Use on the Road
New technology is being developed to combat distracted driving including an optional function for Apple’s iPhone iOS 11 that allows drivers to mute text messages while driving without turning the phone completely off. A black screen also appears, meant to reduce the temptation to use the phone.
New York state is in the process of testing technology that can identify drivers who are texting and driving. An Israeli-based company is developing the prototype. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state is reviewing the effectiveness of the emerging technology to crackdown on reckless behavior.
Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Injured Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact a Chester County car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. To schedule a consultation, complete our online form or call 215-569-8488 or 302-888-1221. We serve clients from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.