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AAA finds what's most distracting on infotainment systems

Infotainment systems can come with features that allow drivers to call, text, surf the web and even finger paint. Researchers analyzed 30 such systems on new 2017 vehicles and argue that many of the features are not only irrelevant to driving but also dangerous. They can lead to inattention behind the wheel, which is already a major issue in New York and elsewhere in the U.S.

Researchers had participants aged 21 to 36 use those 30 systems while driving. Their results, which were for AAA, are as follows: Of the 30 systems, 7 demanded a moderate level of attention, 11 a high level and 12 a very high level. Of the various actions, using the GPS and sending text messages were the most dangerous, distracting drivers for more than 40 seconds each. Even listening to the radio taxed one's attention.

Drivers were noted for their unsafe behaviors, such as swerving completely from their lanes at times and ignoring stop signs at other times. Some were negligent in driving far below the posted speed limit.

In a AAA study, 70 percent of U.S. adults said they desired new vehicle tech, but 24 percent expressed their concerns about the tech not working perfectly. These concerns apply to infotainment systems, many of which are not fully tested. Others come with complicated dashboards that could confuse drivers.

Drivers are required to keep their vehicle under control at all times, so they cannot blame dashboard gadgets on the car accidents they get into. Victims, for their part, might see a lawyer about whether they are eligible for compensation under New York's comparative negligence rule. They may file a claim and possibly win a settlement for medical bills, vehicle repair costs, income lost during their physical recovery and more. The lawyer may be able to negotiate on their behalf.

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