West Virginia Drivers May Be Distracted By In-Car Electronics

Oct 2014

In-vehicle electronics are very common, but they can also create significant risks for motorists. A driver who uses a cell phone, an infotainment system or other electronic devices while driving is not as focused on the road as he or she should be. The result is that the driver puts himself and other motorists in danger.

Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that multitasking can have a long-term negative effect on the brain. As a result, people who multitask and drive while distracted most frequently may be the worst at doing so safely. Furthermore, while drivers may think that they can be safe if they use hands-free kits, the reality is that systems designed to allow voice control of your electronics may actually be even more dangerous than cell phones. Drivers need to make the choice not to drive while distracted for any reason, and an experienced personal injury lawyer should be consulted for help if a distracted motorist causes a collision.

Multitasking and Car Accident Risks

According to Forbes, researchers from Stanford found that multitasking is less effective than doing one thing at a time. Unfortunately, people who are regularly bombarded with multiple streams of information or who frequently try to do multiple things at once can actually become worse at managing to split their attention.

The problem is that those who multitask performance worse if they are asked to focus because they have more difficulty filtering out irrelevant information, they are slower at organizing the thoughts they have, and they are slower at switching from one task to another.

This is bad news for road safety, as drivers who frequently multitask may become less capable of effectively focusing on the road. This risk exists not just for drivers who use handheld systems, but also for motorists using hands-free systems as well. Hands-free systems still divert brain energy away from paying attention to the road, and drivers cannot drive safely and effectively when using these systems.

Yahoo News reported on a recent study where drivers were tested on a simulated driving course using Apple’s Siri and using infotainment systems in vehicles made by car makers including Chevrolet, Hyundai, Mercedes, Ford and Chrysler. Each of the different systems were hands-free and were assigned a distraction score on a scale of one to five, with one being the least distracting and five the most distracting.

Siri was found to be the most distracting, with a distraction rating of 4.14. Several drivers who were on a simulated driving course and who were trying to use Siri actually rear-ended vehicles in front of them. Of the infotainment systems in vehicles, the MyLink by Chevrolet was the most distracting and it received a distraction score of 3.7. Although some of the other infotainment systems performed better, all were found to be more distracting than manually using a cell phone or entering data. As a result, drivers who believe hands-free systems are safer are misinformed. Motorists need to know that they should always stay focused on the road, and only on the road, while operating their vehicle.

Contact a West Virginia accident attorney at the Recht Law Offices.  Call 1-800-487-8546 today for a free consultation or visit http://www.rechtlaw.com.

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