Car manufacturers rely heavily on technology to offer their customers a safe vehicle, however a lot of technology is adding to the problem of distracted driving. A new study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 23 out of 30 cars surveyed had on board technology that dramatically increased driver distraction. Safety advocates are concerned that these distractions could increase the number of serious and fatal car accidents caused by distracted drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 3,477 people suffered fatal injuries and close to 400,000 more were injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers. On board navigation tools, infotainment systems, and Bluetooth phone systems create a myriad of distractions for drivers. The latest in-car entertainment systems are more complex and require a great deal of focus and visualization to operate.
The AAA study found that drivers take an average of 24 seconds to simply change a music selection. Popping in a DVD to entertain passengers can take another 25 to 30 seconds or more to program. The AAA Foundation study also found that on board navigation systems are the most distracting technology of all, often taking drivers an average of 40 seconds to input destination addresses and route preferences. A vehicle moving at 60 miles per hour could travel close to one mile in the time it takes to program the information.
Using Technology to Block Distractions Caused by Technology
While onboard technology may increase the chance of a serious or fatal car accident, technology is also being developed to restrict these distractions. Safety officials from AAA and NHTSA are working closely with car manufacturers to design and install safety features on new vehicles that would block the use of onboard technology while a car is in motion.
In 2012, the NHTSA released voluntary guidelines suggesting this type of onboard safety feature. Unfortunately, many manufacturers have not complied, and instead, they have continued to increase the complexity and availability of onboard entertainment and navigation systems. AAA is reaching out to safety conscious car manufacturers to reduce driver distractions by simplifying the operational components of onboard technology, and to develop safety features that prohibit their use unless a driver stops their vehicle.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that more than 40,000 people suffered fatal injuries in car accidents involving distracted drivers in 2016. This was an increase to those reported by the NHTSA for 2015. The NSC report includes fatal car accidents, as well as the number of injured people that succumbed to their injuries more than 30 days following their accident. The NSC totals also include fatal accidents involving distracted drivers that happened in driveways and parking lots.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Help Injured Victims Claim CompensationIf you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver, the New Jersey car accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Call us at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are in Red Bank, Toms River, and Edison, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the state.