Distracted driving is on the rise in Brooklyn and across the country. There are a number of factors that can play a role in the proliferation of distraction on the road, but one of them could be the built-in entertainment and guidance systems that are featured in many of today’s most popular vehicles. Because these systems are much more full-featured than the car radios of the past, they present a comparatively greater potential for distraction. A study by the AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that this could undermine safety on the roads.
The increase in distracted driving is also tied to the rise of the smartphone, which has become a ubiquitous accessory. Vehicle entertainment systems often contain some of the same features and a similar appearance to popular smartphones and tablets. Since 2014, the number of highway fatalities rose over 10 percent to 37,150 in 2017. While it is not clear that distracted driving is to blame for the entire jump, it is widely considered to be a significant factor.
The AAA study involved 64 drivers who operated five vehicles using either the car manufacturer’s built-in system or alternatives created by Android and Apple. The researchers found that despite being smartphone linked, those services did more to help drivers avoid excessive distraction from their interactions with the system. However, even those systems could require enough effort that causes drivers to take their eyes and minds away from the wheel.
Studies have shown that an increasing number of crashes on the roads are caused by distracted drivers. These motor vehicle collisions can lead to severe injuries and lifelong disabilities. When people have been injured due to another driver’s distracted, dangerous driving, they may be able to work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their damages, including lost wages and medical bills.