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Vehicle infotainment systems distract drivers

Vehicle infotainment systems are distracting drivers in Connecticut and across the U.S., according to a new study. Apparently, the systems demand too much brain power for drivers to adequately pay attention to the road.

For the study, researchers from the University of Utah tracked 64 drivers while they operated five different vehicles. These vehicles included the 2017 Ford Mustang GT, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E, the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado LT, the 2018 Kia Optima and the 2018 RAM 1500 Laramie. At some points during the study, the participants were asked to use the infotainment system in their vehicle. At others, they were asked to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which both allow the phone to operate the vehicle's infotainment features. The researchers found that the Android and Apple smartphone apps demanded less brain power from the study participants than the vehicle infotainment systems did. However, the apps still placed moderate levels of demand on the drivers' brains, which could lead to distracted driving.

According to auto safety experts, America's distracted driving problem is very real. In fact, a recent study by startup Nauto, which equips commercial fleets with driver monitoring systems, found that 67 percent of severe truck crashes over a four-month period were caused by distracted driving. A number of researchers are exploring ways to reduce the risk of distracted driving, but there is currently no single solution available.

Connecticut personal injury lawyers might be able to help victims of car accidents recover damages. For example, if police determine an accident was caused by a distracted driver, a lawyer may use crash investigation reports to file a lawsuit on the victim's behalf. If the complaint is successful, the victim might be awarded compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and other related damages.

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