Today, everyone wants to be connected to the virtual world at all times.
Research and statistical data suggests that this trend contributes to around 80% of on-road accidents. Automobile manufacturers are also recognizing the danger and adding new safety features to their vehicles.
State-of-the-Art Infotainment Systems
Car manufacturing giants like Ford and Chrysler have introduced state-of-the-art infotainment systems into their cars that include applications like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These applications allow drivers to use their phones while driving with ease. Sync, the integrated in-car technology that is used, enables drivers to sync any type of smartphone while on the move. It enables a driver to connect with any application or service they are connected with, enhancing the user experience for the driver.
These are integrated systems that enable users to multi-task and manage functions like making and answering phone calls, changing radio stations and managing music, and using navigation systems with voice commands. These infotainment systems are being devised to not only enhance user experience, but also to facilitate easier multi-tasking while driving. However, automobile manufacturers who are intent on impressing customers, turn a blind eye to the fact that ‘being connected while driving’ is dangerous.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the CDC, on average about 9 people are killed and 1,153 people are injured in road accidents caused by distracted driving on a daily basis. In view of such a high number of road accidents caused by smartphone-related distracted driving, drivers need to keep their eyes on the road. Driving is a task that cannot and should not be combined with any other activity. While most vehicles today are equipped with the latest infotainment technology and provide for easy multi-tasking, it does not mean that multi-tasking while driving is a safe habit.
According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, using in-car connectivity applications can distract a driver for about 27 seconds. While 27 seconds sounds like a very short duration, for those behind the wheel, it is long enough to cause a distraction that could lead to an accident.
Mental Distractions for Drivers
The study that was conducted looked at a target sample of subjects driving around a length of three football fields at 25 miles per hour, while being distracted with connected applications. Even with button pushing and screen swiping functions limited, it was found that these drivers were engaging in more distracted behaviours rather than making safe decisions. (Learn more about distracted driving – Types of Distracted Driving Accidents)
The study brought out the fact that mental distractions were more prevalent and thus more hazardous than physical distractions. Inadvertently, car manufacturers are creating a higher risk of on-road hazards than empowering motorists to stay connected with their social lives. The study showed that ‘staying connected’ can cause a distraction that is long enough to cause serious car accidents.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to a Chicago car accident lawyer to understand your legal options. For a free consultation, call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166.