Most drivers in Lombard, Illinois know that texting while driving using a handheld device is unlawful under Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/12-610.2), and using a smartphone behind the wheel can lead to a distracted driving collision. What are the risks of new high-tech gadgets in automobiles?
According to a recent article in Consumer Reports, high-tech features in new automobiles may be even more distracting to drivers than smartphones. Most specifically, vehicles with built-in navigation systems may lead to more auto accidents in DuPage County than most residents might think.
AAA Says High-Tech Automobiles May Cause Distracted Driving Crashes
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently explained in a study how “high-tech infotainment systems—the ones that allow drivers access to navigation, audio, and phone features—are distracting drivers for dangerously long periods of time.” While we often assume that new cars with built-in technology are safer than older automobiles, the recent study suggests that some new technologies might actually put us at greater risk for involvement in a severe or deadly car crash.
In the study, researchers assessed the distraction levels of 120 different drivers between the ages of 21 and 36 while they were using high-tech infotainment systems. The drivers were evaluated over a two-mile length of road while driving at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour.
The research for the study was conducted at the University of Utah. Researchers determined that “drivers were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like entering navigation destinations of sending a text message while driving.” We know that sending texts while driving is extremely dangerous, but it turns out that using a SatNav system can result in a distracted driving collision just as easily—and perhaps more readily—than using a smartphone to send an electronic communication.
Increased Car Accident Risks and Personal Injury Lawsuits
How dangerous is it exactly to have your attention diverted from the task of driving for 40 seconds or more? According to AAA, even if you take your eyes off the road for two seconds, you can double your risk of being involved in a car wreck. Ultimately, the study determined that using a navigation system while you are driving is more distracting than sending or reading a text message. Does this mean that infotainment systems in new vehicles should be phased out?
The authors of the study recommend implementing federal regulations that can lock out drivers from using the systems for texting or navigation while they are behind the wheel. In the meantime, however, it is important to know that DuPage County residents may be able to hold distracted drivers liable for car accidents through personal injury law. Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/13-202), an injury victim has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation.
Seek Advice from a Lombard Auto Accident Lawyer
Were you hurt in a car crash caused by a distracted driver? You should discuss your options with an experienced DuPage County auto accident lawyer. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information about the services we provide to residents throughout DuPage County.
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