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Infotainment systems could be placing you at risk

Jun 25, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Crashes

There are many things that can cause distraction for a driver, and while phones may generally be the main culprit of distracted driving, it is not the only reason why a Texas driver may lose focus. Even with eyes on the wheel and the phone put safely away, a driver may find it difficult to focus because of the features of the vehicle itself. The infotainment systems that come standard in many newer vehicles are cause for concern as they could be dangerously distracting. 

The systems often pair a driver’s phone with the car, allowing him or her to do everything from answer phone calls to play music using an interactive screen. Like using a phone, this requires a driver to remove his or her hands from the wheel and eyes from the road for seconds at a time. Studies find that the in-car infotainment systems are particularly distracting for older drivers. 

Senior citizens and distracted driving 

As the population ages and more senior drivers are on the road, the impact of infotainment systems on driver behavior may have negative consequences. While drivers of all ages are susceptible to distraction, studies find that the systems in the car are especially distracting for older drivers. In fact, studies find that senior drivers tend to look away from the road for an average of eight seconds longer than younger drivers.  

During one study, researchers found that some of these systems required a driver to both look at the screen and use audio commands in order to complete a task. The same study found that younger drivers were able to dial and make a call in just over 17 seconds, while older drivers took an average of 22 seconds to do the same thing on the same infotainment systems. These systems may be cumbersome and confusing for older drivers who are less comfortable with technology. 

Who is to blame for the distracted driving? 

A driver is accountable for the choices he or she makes while behind the wheel. Regardless of whether distracted driving is the result of phone use, using an infotainment system or other reason, there are options by which you can seek justice and hold the responsible party accountable. After a distraction-related accident, you may benefit from an assessment of your case in order to determine if you have cause to pursue compensation through a civil claim.