Study examines distracted driver behaviors and infotainment

Given the number of auto accidents in Baton Rouge and across Louisiana that happen because of a distracted driver, it need not be said how dangerous the behavior is. This is often linked to texting and driving. However, there are numerous distractions that can divert the driver's attention from where it should be - the road - and cause a crash. With these crashes, there can be serious injuries along with the accompanying treatments, medical expenses, lost time on the job and a difficult time getting back to his or her normal life. When there is a fatality, the family left behind will have extensive issues getting beyond the untimely death.

One recent study looked at so-called "infotainment" systems and determined that some are more risky to use than others in terms of distraction. It is also vital to remember that any distraction puts people in jeopardy of being in a car accident. The study examined infotainment systems that were installed by the manufacturer versus those that came from outside companies. It found that Google's Android Auto and Apple CarPlay required less attention from drivers. Still, there was a level of distraction when using any of them.

The study was done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. While some systems require less attention than others, complex activities like texting and driving, making calls and using navigation apps are still rife with danger. With the Apple and Google systems, it took drivers five fewer seconds to call someone and 15 fewer seconds for navigation when compared to manufacturer installed systems. It is important to remember that drivers removing their eyes from the road for more than two seconds makes it twice as likely there will be an accident. Annually, 3,500 people die and 390,000 people are injured due to distracted driving.

The level of cognitive demand was a key factor in how distracted the driver was. For example, changing the radio is a low level of distraction while texting and navigating is a high level of distraction. Regardless of how the driver became distracted, when there is a crash due to a distracted driver, those who were negatively impacted must remember their rights and the importance of an investigation to determine the cause of the crash. A law firm that is experienced in helping those who were injured or lost loved ones in car accidents should be contacted as soon as possible.

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