Distracted Driving Worsens with New Auto Technology, Reports AAA

photo_39111_20150703-300x208In our tech-savvy society, we constantly want faster and better technology. Automakers scramble to keep up with continually updated tech demands by cramming more intricate technology options into our vehicles. Cars used to have only a small number of buttons and knobs. Now, automakers have upped the ante by adding as many as 50 buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard that have multiple functions. As injury lawyers assisting car accident victims, Tapalian Law can easily see how this could increase the levels of distracted driving and realize an increase in car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

Study Shows GPS & Texting Most Distracting Driving Behaviors

Programming a destination into a built-in GPS system takes drivers an average of 40 seconds and is said to be the most distracting activity for a driver based on a study by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety. At a rate of 25mph, a vehicle can travel the length of four football fields during that short 40 second spurt. As Providence car accident injury lawyers, Tapalian Law knows prior research shows that the risk of a crash doubles when drivers take their eyes away from the road for only two seconds.  Texting was the second-most distracting task performed in the study. Although guidelines recommend that automakers prevent texting from being available while driving, in two-thirds of the 2017 vehicles tested, the test drivers could text while driving. Motorists already have a multitude of distractions in the car, and not just texting and GPS systems. Eating, drinking, changing the radio station, and chatting with passengers can all be distractions to a driver.

According to AAA, 70% of U.S. adults want new technologies in their vehicles but only 24% feel that the current technology works perfectly. Drivers want this new technology, but in an easier to operate manner. AAA urges drivers to only use the infotainment technologies for “legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving-related purposes”. It also recommends automakers block the ability to program navigation components or send text messages while driving. Many believe these new infotainment systems need to be simpler to use, therefore decreasing the amount of attention they require from vehicle operators while driving.

More Technology = More Distractions

As drivers in Providence and beyond, we have the option to now drive and use social media, text, and email. We have touch screens at our fingertips, voice commands, writing pads, and pop-up display screens. Each option adds an additional layer of complexity to the driving process and another strain on our already busy brains. As we know from experience, it takes time to figure out new technology and as options in our cars increase, so will the amount of time we spend trying to figure them all out. This takes away from what we are supposed to be doing in the car- paying attention to the road. Although voice command systems result in the driver taking their eyes off the road for less time, this is off-set by the upsurge of time drivers spent interacting with the voice command system.

Consult with an Accident Attorney if You are Hit by a Distracted Driver

It is all too common to see motor vehicle operators looking down at their phones, eating, drinking, or doing something else inside their vehicle. Being distracted and taking their eyes off the road makes it more likely for drivers to cause a head-on collision, rear-end collision, or even hit a pedestrian or bicyclist. Crashes caused by distracted driving can have dangerous consequences including death or serious injuries. If you, or a loved one, have been hit by one of these drivers in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, seek out the guidance of an experienced accident injury lawyer at Tapalian Law. Attorney Tapalian will take the time to listen to the details about your accident and your resulting injuries and recommend what action to take next. He and his helpful staff will be available for questions throughout the entirety of your accident case until you receive compensation for your damages. To reach Tapalian Law, call us at


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