As technology becomes cheaper and more compact, more vehicles are coming with increasingly complex computers and infotainment systems built into the dashboard. Now your car’s computer is like a large phone; it can text, call, play movies, and give you directions. But is it possible that car infotainment screens are even more dangerous than using your phone while driving?
A Logical Examination
Infotainment systems come with many of the same dangers as cell phones and cell phone mounts. They are an unavoidable screen at roughly eye level. They offer a range of distractions, and without the barrier of your phone’s lock screen, those options are always a touch away.
Each time you use your car’s infotainment system, you are engaging in a “triple threat” driving distraction. It takes visual focus to look at the screen, you need to take your hands off the wheel to interact with the system, and then it takes mental focus to think about what you want to do as well as read through the text and navigate menus.
Studies and Statistics
The dangers of infotainment systems are not hypothetical. A study by IAM Roadsmart found that touch-based car infotainment systems resulted in the most significant delays in reaction time, by far. According to the study, drivers who used touch infotainment systems had slower reaction times than drunk drivers, drivers using cannabis, or drivers manually texting with their phones.
Another study by AAA found similar results. Because infotainment systems have replaced the traditional buttons and dials used in older cars, even something as simple as changing the temperature or turning on the radio now requires much more of the driver’s attention. In making vehicles that are more technologically advanced, car manufacturers have inadvertently made driving more distracting and have made distractions that last longer than the button and dial alternative.
Currently, 1-in-3 American cars have an infotainment system. Studies have shown again and again these devices are distracting, often more distracting than using your cellphone. As these devices become standard and older vehicles are taken off the road, it seems many more drivers will struggle against distractions that become harder and harder to ignore.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, let us fight for you. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Bryan car accident lawyer from The Payne Law Group, don’t hesitate to contact our firm at (979) 300-7406 or send us an email.