In-vehicle technology is supposed to make driving safer and more convenient, but recent studies have shown that the cognitive and visual demands of in-vehicle technology are actually increasing the risk of deadly collisions. Even just simple tasks like entering data into an on-screen navigation system can distract a driver for as many as 40 seconds. This is alarming information for motorists who are looking to stay safe on busy roads.
A Few Seconds Add up to an Increased Fatality Risk
It doesn’t take long for distractions to lead to deadly accidents. According to research from AAA, all it takes is two seconds of distraction to double a driver’s chances of having an accident.
A 2017 study aimed to determine the riskiest in-vehicle technology. In the study, drivers between the ages of 21 and 36 were taken on a 2-mile stretch of road. Driving at just 25 mph, each driver was asked to complete specific tasks using the technology in the vehicles. Researchers measured how much cognitive demand was placed on the driver.
The study found that typing in a destination on the onboard navigation system was the most demanding task, followed closely by texting. These demand 40 seconds of attention, on average, which was more than enough time for a serious accident to occur. The least demanding tasks were using the car’s radio or making a call.
Cell Phones Making the Problem Worse
Unfortunately, the nature of modern cell phones is making this problem worse. Drivers once had to rely on built-in safety features, such as navigation systems that could not be altered when the vehicle was in motion. Today they can simply pull out their cell phones when the onboard systems are not allowing access. Cell phone use is an even more deadly risk, pulling drivers’ attention away from the road and on to their screens.
For those who have been injured in a car accident, understanding the pull of technology and how it is making drivers less safe is important. When technology plays a role in a crash, those who are distracted can be held liable for injuries.