Newer models of vehicles use hands-free technologies that can help motorists make phone calls, check emails and use GPS. They may also allow motorists to change radio stations or song playlists. These features are called “infotainment systems” because they provide information and entertainment. Infotainment systems may also cause significant distractions while driving.
A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered motorists suffer from lingering distraction for 15 to 27 seconds after using infotainment systems. The length of distraction depends on the features used. In the worst-case scenario, drivers lost focus for up to 27 seconds after using certain features. At 55 miles per hour, that would mean drivers are inattentive for 2,178 feet! The study found hands-free phone calls are moderately distracting. Voice-activated email features are the most distracting infotainment feature.
Drivers using these features are at higher risk for running stop signs, and hitting pedestrians or other vehicles.
Why Should We Avoid Distractions While Driving?
Distracted driving crashes happen because the human brain is incapable of multitasking. It can joggle between tasks very quickly, but has difficulty performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Infotainment systems are still distracting for this reason.
Researchers have used medical imaging equipment to discover how the brain reacts while listening to calls or talking on the phone. When people are performing these activities, the area of the brain responsible for processing moving images loses its effectiveness by one-third.
We have a responsibility to drive safely and free of distraction. Distracted motorists who harm others may be held liable for their actions. The people they hit while driving may file lawsuits to recover damages that pay for lost income, medical bills and other expenses.
The Louisiana auto accident attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat can help individuals explore legal options for recovering damages after a distracted driving crash.