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Study shows unexpected causes of being a distracted driver

As technological advancements are made, drivers in Louisiana and across the U.S. should be aware of the negatives that can accompany them. By now, it is well-known how risky it is to be a distracted driver or to encounter one. Oftentimes, this is thought to be related to a driver texting and driving or using a smartphone for other purposes. However, research states that there are other distractions and they are installed in the newer vehicles as an extra amenity that is intended to increase safety.

Most drivers will not admit to driving while distracted, so it is difficult to discern exactly how frequently it happens. However, in 2015, information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that nearly 3,500 people died and around 391,000 were hurt in crashes that were due to a distracted driver. This new technology adds to the danger. Research conducted by AAA says that systems for navigation can lead to a driver being distracted for as long as 40 seconds as they program it.

AAA had 30 different new vehicles tested and found that 23 had onboard technology that forced the driver to pay attention to it at levels that were classified as high and very high. Many of these devices are complicated to use and require an amount of attention that leads to distraction. Even changing the radio station can be a complex endeavor. Using navigational equipment is believed to be the most dangerous activity, taking up 40 seconds. With the number of people who are dying in crashes on the rise, any factor that can raise the risk of a car crash should be factored in when assessing the cause.

With a car accident, people should know that there are distractions that go beyond using a smartphone. "Infotainment" systems can be distracting by themselves. For people who have been in car accidents, there can be medical costs, lost time at work and the need for extended care. There can even be fatalities. Knowing that the accident occurred because of any kind of distraction can be beneficial to a case.

Source: wahingtonpost.com, "New cars have more distracting technology on board than ever before," Ashley Halsey III, Oct. 5, 2017

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