Almost every new car these days has a sophisticated car infotainment system. In an effort to meet consumers' needs, many car manufacturers provide car infotainment systems that allow drivers to use voice commands to make hands-free phone calls, turn on the radio, input an address into a GPS system, etc.
Though drivers do not have to take their hands off the wheel to use infotainment systems, they are still a distraction for drivers in Ontario. Many drivers believe that they are being safe drivers by using car infotainment systems. Unfortunately, they are misinformed.
In a previous distracted driving article, we discussed a 2014 study conducted by the University of Utah for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that rated distraction levels of infotainment systems in automobiles. That study was phase 2 of a 3 phase study which tested infotainment systems made by various car makers, including Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai and Mercedes. The systems were then graded on a distraction scale. Results from phase 2 of the study revealed that "hands free" does not equate to risk free. Drivers can still cause accidents because they are distracted while using infotainment dashboards. Systems with the worst distracted ratings were those that made errors even though a driver's voice commands were clear and distinct.
Last month, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed some other troubling data with regard to infotainment systems that it obtained in phase 3 of the study.
The study results show that mental distractions can last as long as 27 seconds after a driver dials, changes music or sends a text using voice commands. Results show that mental distractions persist even after the driver is done with the task. Drivers could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while their minds are readjusting to the task of driving. For systems that are easier to use and had fewer errors, mental distractions continue for more than 15 seconds after the driver is done completing a task such as using voice commands to call someone.
Researchers are advising drivers to use caution when using infotainment systems or voice-activated systems, even if they are being used at what appear to be safe moments, such as being stopped at a light or an intersection.
Catastrophic Distracted Car Accidents & Injuries in Kingston, Ottawa & Whitby
Distracted drivers can cause catastrophic car accidents, and those involved may suffer catastrophic injuries. Victims of Ontario distracted driving accidents have legal rights to recover financial compensation from the at-fault drivers. Call the catastrophic injury lawyers at Bergeron Clifford, who have offices in Kingston and Ottawa, to schedule a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886
*Source: www.aaafoundation.org (In-Vehicle Info Systems & Cognitive Distraction)