New cars these days come with lots of bells and whistles. It is estimated that within 5 years, 90% of new vehicles will have information and entertainment systems. Vehicle infotainment systems, such as Apple CarPlay or Toyota’s Entune system, can help you make phone calls, send text messages, find a radio station, check the weather, and operate the navigation system, all while you’re driving. But these new features can be dangerous.
What is Distracted Driving?
In essence, distracted driving is driving your vehicle without devoting 100% of your focus to the task at hand. A distracted driver is trying to do two things at once, with that other thing being talking to a passenger, disciplining children, or engaging with a car’s in-vehicle technology. Since these activities take away at least part of your focus, it becomes a dangerous situation for everyone.
Why is In-vehicle Technology a Dangerous Distraction?
An infotainment system in your car can be an especially tempting distraction. The auto industry claims that new systems are better alternatives for drivers than mobile phone and navigation systems that were not designed to be used while driving.
However, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the infotainment systems in many new cars can distract drivers for over 40 seconds at a time. According to AAA, even just looking away from the road for two seconds can double your chance of being in an accident. Navigation was the most time intensive, forcing drivers to take their eyes off the road for more than 40 seconds. In that time, a car driving at 25 miles per hour would travel the length of four football fields, all while mostly driving blind.
How can you Prevent Distracted Driving?
Researchers say that in-car technology can be made safer by following federal recommendations such as logging out texts, social media, and programming the navigation system while the car is in motion. But there are also steps you can take to reduce your own distracted driving.
There are also obvious steps you can take, like not programming your navigation system until your vehicle is parked. You can also place your phone in the glove compartment, and choose not to sync it to the in-vehicle technology. While this might not be realistic, there are other options to help you avoid the temptation of engaging with your car’s infotainment system, such as installing driving apps on your phone.
Contact an Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LP have been helping injured clients for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-844-MDCRASH to schedule your free consultation.