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Car entertainment systems can be dangerously distracting

Many of the new vehicles on sale in North Carolina showrooms feature complex entertainment and information systems, but a study from the University of Utah conducted on behalf of the American Automobile Association suggests that this kind of sophisticated technology can be dangerously distracting to drivers. The researchers used 2017 model year vehicles and 30 such systems for their study, and they found that all of the systems made demands on drivers that could lead to accidents.

Some of the latest entertainment and information systems are capable of making phone calls and sending text messages, and more than a third of the technology studied made demands that the researchers considered very high. The researchers passed judgment on each system after noting how long individuals took to complete basic tasks such as changing the radio station, inputting an address into the navigation system and sending a text message.

A car traveling at 65 mph covers about 100 feet every second, and even momentary distractions can cause car accidents. The researchers found that using GPS features or sending text messages could distract drivers for as long as 40 seconds, which is enough time to cover more than a dozen football fields at highway speeds. Previous studies have shown that the chances of being involved in a crash double when drivers take their eyes off the road for just two seconds.

Distracted drivers sometimes drift into the path of oncoming traffic and become involved in head-on collisions that cause catastrophic harm, and their victims are often left badly injured and facing the prospect of long-term medical care and physical therapy. Calculating damages is important when preparing car accident lawsuits, and experienced personal injury attorneys may consult doctors and specialists in order to determine the amount to seek.

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