Dallas Law Firm Blog

How Would You Fare on a Distracted Driving Test?

At least 3,500 Americans die from distracted driving each year. But many Americans are unaware just how distracting smart technology such as infotainment systems and GPS can be while we are driving. A reporter for the Washington Post recently did a brief run around a test track with researchers from AAA, and he was surprised at just how these hands-free systems, while intended to help us, can distract us from the tasks essential for safe driving.

The simulated road test, which was done in a parking lot in Maryland, was intended to highlight findings of a new report from AAA about the merits of various navigation systems for automobiles. AAA worked with researchers at the University of Utah to study how efficient various navigation and infotainment systems are that are commonly installed on new vehicles. The study determined that systems that are based upon smart phones are actually less distracting to drivers than many of the built-in systems.

The road test in Maryland was intended to study how drivers perform when they are driving a car with hands-free navigation technology while also dealing with various distractions.

The reporter from the Washington Post was required to click a button each time a buzzer vibrated against his skin, to simulate common distractions while behind the wheel.

He found that when he drove at 10 mph on the test track and was using the on-board navigation system to direct him to the nearest coffee shop, he had trouble focusing when the buzzer went off. According to the reporter, he found that using the built-in GPS system was difficult when he was distracted by other tasks. According to one of the researchers, using a navigation system while driving down the road can be like attempting to balance your checkbook and drive.

The test found that using built-in navigation systems was more distracting than using navigation systems that are on cell phones, including Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The test also found that while cell phone-based navigation could be made simpler, it was easier and less distracting to use than built-in systems.

Unfortunately, built-in infotainment and GPS systems are getting more complex … and distracting. If a navigation and infotainment system has too many screens, too much text and too many controls, it can actually increase distraction and make an accident more likely.  Some cars have more than 120 buttons on their built-in system.

As personal injury attorneys in Dallas, we hope that some auto manufacturers will go back to the drawing board on these systems. The last thing we want from an infotainment and navigation system is more distraction for drivers on the road.

Injured by a Distracted Driver? Talk to a Texas Personal Injury Attorney

Distracted driving, whether from a cell phone, infotainment system, navigation system, talking to passengers or eating and drinking, is very dangerous and can be deadly. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be suffering from a concussion, cuts and scrapes, broken bones or worse. You have legal rights; you can sue for damages in civil court. Contact the personal injury attorneys Guajardo & Marks today for a complimentary consultation. Our attorneys do not get paid unless you do.