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Researchers study differing levels of driver distraction

According to the US Department of Transportation, 37,150 people died on America’s roads in 2017. This is a 10 percent increase of the fatality rates from 2014, and researchers across the nation believe that distracted driving is a major factor. Louisiana drivers should know about a recent AAA analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Utah. The results show that there are different levels of distraction depending on the type of technology used.

Infotainment systems, whether built into the vehicle or running off the user’s smartphone, are meant to improve the driving experience. However, they have been found to demand high levels of attention from drivers. For the AAA study, researchers had 64 participants drive in five different vehicles and instructed them to use the manufacturer’s system at certain points. At other points, participants were told to run Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

Researchers concluded that the smartphone apps demand less attention. They found that Android Auto made it easier for drivers to enter their destination while Apple CarPlay was proved to be safer when drivers were text messaging. At the same time, both systems were considered dangerously distracting.

As automated driving technology advances, other groups are researching how drivers behave with features like Tesla’s Autopilot. This includes how drivers look at the road and detect hazards.

When drivers distracted by their technology cause a car accident, they will be responsible for the injuries and other losses incurred by other drivers. The latter can speak with a lawyer about filing a third-party insurance claim. If the victims hire attorneys, they can have these legal professionals speak on their behalf at the negotiation table or, as a last resort, in the courtroom. Personal injury lawyers usually have teams of experts on which they can rely to build up their cases with the necessary proof.

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