How Much of a Distracted Driver Are You, Really?

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Are You a More Distracted Driver than You Think You Are?

Distracted driving is dangerous driving, but most of us are probably more distracted while driving than we think we are. Research suggests this is true. In fact, AAA has devised a distracted driving road test that demonstrates exactly how distracting all that navigational technology that is designed to help us get around can be. In June of 2018, a reporter from the Washington Post put it to the test, and the results are extremely informative.

Do Technological Advancements Help or Hinder?

The AAA hands-on road test relates to late model cars’ built-in infotainment and navigational systems, and it demonstrates that this technological advancement in our vehicles may hinder safe driving more than they help. In fact, we may be sacrificing lives to traffic accidents for the sake of our own convenience.

Road Test: The Basics

AAA’s road test was designed to emphasize the relative merits and pitfalls of varying navigational systems, and it focuses on how drivers perform when they use hands-free navigational technology while dealing with minor distractions. The journalist in question got behind the wheel of a pickup truck on a fairly simple course, and he relayed that the results were not pretty.

Road Test: The Distractions

The test’s distraction component included several elements:

  • A button attached to the driver’s finger that clicked on and off every time it was pressed against the steering wheel
  • A buzzer that vibrated against the driver’s collarbone
  • A small, shaded lightbulb that, when illuminated, reflected against the windshield in the driver’s field of vision

The buzzer and the reflection were designed to imitate the kinds of minor and unexpected distractions that drivers need to be looking out for. Whenever the driver felt the buzzer’s vibration or saw the light change from orange to red, he was directed to click his finger button.

Road Test: The Results

Once a baseline was established, the writer drove the same course using varying kinds of navigational technology, including the truck’s built-in navigation system, Apple’s Car Play, and Google’s Android Auto. All told, the journalist requested that all three systems provide basic navigational assistance to various nearby locations (via the hands-free option) – while continuing to attend to the test’s distractions. The driver confessed that this combination drove him “batty.”

The phone-based systems, while imperfect, were found to be more intuitive and faster than the in-car systems. In fact, the researchers found that navigational systems built into vehicles seem to be regressing in terms of design – becoming more and more complicated and distracting. Drivers who are overloaded with distractions simply cannot observe everything they need to observe to help keep our roadways safer for all who travel on them.

If a Distracted Driver Leaves You Injured, Consult with an Experienced Central Texas Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas is committed to aggressively advocating for the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.

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