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GPS, texting features the most distracting on dashboard gadgets

Illinois drivers may be interested in a recent AAA study that shows how dangerous it can be to have a car infotainment system. Of the 30 systems from 2017 vehicle models that were analyzed, all demanded either a moderate, high or very high level of attention. This is important because taking one's eyes off the road for just 2 seconds doubles the risk for an accident.

In light of that, the results of this new study are startling. Using the GPS and sending texts were both found to mentally and visually distract drivers for more than 40 seconds. Furthermore, using voice commands and touch screens made the participants inattentive. Participants acted negligently while using these features behind the wheel, sometimes swerving out of their lanes, ignoring stop signs and going dangerously slow.

The participants were all aged 21 to 36, but the issue is likely not limited to that age group. One in three Americans uses an infotainment system on the road. Researchers say that manufacturers should be more careful with what they include in vehicles. They also note that not all systems are fully tested and that some come with complicated dashboards.

Someone who gets in a motor vehicle accident with a distracted driver may be able to receive compensation. If the victim contributed through their own negligence, however, the amount they're eligible for may be lower. That's why it's important to retain an attorney who can then hire third parties to build up a case. Investigators could check the defendant's phone records, for example, to prove that distractions were involved. The lawyer could handle all negotiations with the auto insurance company.

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