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GPS use, texting among the most distracting activities to drivers

Whereas some new technology has improved vehicle safety, other features are only serving to endanger drivers in Missouri and across the U.S. Infotainment systems come with various features, many of which are irrelevant to driving and include functionalities for calling, texting, updating social media and so on. Researchers at the University of Utah have completed a study for AAA that reveals how distracting these systems are.

For their study, the researchers asked a group of drivers aged 21 to 36 to use the features of 30 infotainment systems on new 2017 vehicles while on the road. Participants failed to halt at stop signs, swerved out of their lanes and drove well below the posted speed limit. Even listening to the radio proved to be distracting.

The most distracting features were the GPS and texting technology, which caused driver inattention for more than 40 seconds. Other research shows that when one's eyes are off the road for two seconds, the risk for an accident doubles.

Infotainment systems are sometimes not fully tested, so their safety is not guaranteed. The complexity of new technology may also confuse drivers even when they wish to carry out simple actions. A AAA survey showed that despite a great desire for new tech, 24 percent of U.S. adults expressed their concern over its imperfections.

Distracted driving accidents can be mild or severe, depending on the situation, but victims may be left with medical bills, pain and suffering, vehicle damage and even lost income. Under the state's personal injury law, those who are less than 50 percent to blame for a crash can file a claim. For the claim to be successful, they will want to hire a lawyer, who can, in turn, hire investigators and other experts that may bolster the case with evidence.

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