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How Modern Vehicle Design Increases Distraction

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerDistracted driving has always been a problem. Even long before cell phones, drivers found ways to pay attention to things other than the road. Before they were texting, drivers were flipping through magazines, chatting with their passengers, or singing along to the radio. When car phones came along, drivers started splitting their attention between their phone conversations and their driving. Cell phones only made the problem worse. A shocking amount of drivers admit to doing anything from watching TikTok videos to texting while in control of a moving vehicle. Now, car manufacturers are increasingly adding distractions like integrated touch screen controls. These modern innovations may be increasing distraction rather than reducing it.

The Risks of Integrated “Infotainment” Systems in Modern Vehicles

Car manufacturers claim that adding voice controls, integrated GPS systems, and screens visible to the driver are meant to reduce the likelihood of a distracted driving accident, but it appears that they are doing the opposite. As a recent LA Times headline proclaimed, “We are killing people” by increasing drivers’ cognitive loads.

Cell phones are consistently responsible for thousands of fatal car accidents each year. Many car manufacturers - and even cell phone manufacturers, like Apple - seem to think that the solution is creating a better way for drivers to use phones while driving. However, this can be problematic. Even when a driver uses voice-to-text while operating a vehicle, they are still shifting their attention off the road, and they are highly likely to look at their screen to confirm that the transcription is accurate.

As a Honda executive explained, the company feels that the solution to cell phone distraction is to enable the vehicle itself to accomplish anything a phone can. However, voice controls have not been perfected. Drivers may become distracted while battling their car’s infotainment system, causing them to take their eyes off the road for even longer.

A False Sense of Security

Many newer cars come equipped with safety devices like lane departure warnings and automatic braking when an object is detected in the vehicle’s path. This can lull drivers into a false sense of security, believing that their vehicle is capable of preventing an accident on its own. Drivers with this type of technology in their cars may feel that it is safe for them to focus on something other than driving. However, these backup safety systems are not meant to be used as an “autopilot.”

Evidence is rapidly building that integrated infotainment systems may ultimately do more harm than good.

Contact a Lake County Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. may be able to help you recover compensation. Our seasoned Waukegan car accident attorneys will seek out any evidence of the at-fault driver’s distraction. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-07-06/we-are-killing-people-how-technology-has-made-your-car-a-candy-store-of-distraction

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