Vehicle Touchscreens Linked to Distracted Driving, Study Finds
Omaha car accident lawyers explain what drivers need to know
Vehicle touchscreen displays can be very distracting for many drivers and should be taken into account when considering contributing factors in distracted driving car accidents, according to a recent driver safety study.
Researchers from Drexel University conducted the study last year, according to Science Direct. In the study, researchers examined data from cameras and radar monitoring driver activity. Researchers collected data from drivers in six states who drove 50 million miles. The study found that vehicle touchscreen displays “are a major source of driver distraction,” according to a news article about the study by Treehugger.
Understanding the dangers of in-vehicle touchscreens
Many people know about the dangers posed by cellphones and texting while driving. But the study found that distractions caused by In-Vehicle Information Systems (IVIS) can be just as dangerous for many people.
In particular, teenage boys and women seemed to be the most distracted by vehicle touchscreens, according to the Drexel University study. However, the Treehugger story about the study cited another recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that found that older male drivers 55 to 75 years old are more distracted than other age groups by in-vehicle touchscreen technology.
"On average, older drivers (ages 55-75) removed their eyes and attention from the road for more than eight seconds longer than younger drivers (ages 21-36) when performing simple tasks like programming navigation or tuning the radio using in-vehicle infotainment technology,” the AAA Foundation wrote.
How common are distracted driving accidents?
Distracted driving has become one of the most common causes of car accidents in the country. An average of 3,274 people die each year in car accidents nationwide due to distracted driving, according to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s nearly nine car accident fatalities every day.
The CDC categorizes distracted driving into three types of distractions: visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distractions can be anything that takes your eyes off the road. Manual distractions take a driver's hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions take a driver's mind off driving. In-vehicle touchscreens distract drivers in all three ways.
Most states, including Nebraska, already have laws banning texting while driving or using a cellphone while driving. However, as recent studies suggest, people need to be aware of all the other ways drivers can be distracted, including by in-vehicle touchscreens.
Why should I hire a lawyer?
Distracted driving accidents might seem straightforward. Another driver wasn’t paying attention and caused your collision. Unfortunately, many crashes caused by distracted drivers turn out to be complicated legal cases. Often, the at-fault driver will claim they didn’t do anything wrong. They might even try to claim you somehow caused the collision.
Other times, insurance companies can be the obstacle. Because Nebraska has a fault-based insurance system, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your accident-related expenses. This often includes medical bills, vehicle repairs and replacement income if you cannot work while you’re recovering from your accident. The insurance company has an incentive to pay you as little as possible. This is why you need a dedicated legal team on your side, fighting for your rights.
The experienced Omaha car accident attorneys at Ausman Law Firm P.C., L.L.O. can be for you every step of the way. We know how the legal system works when it comes to distracted driving accidents. We’re aware of the state and federal laws that apply to such cases. When you have our law firm on your side, you can focus on what matters most: your recovery.