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Study Reports Older Drivers More Likely to Be Distracted by In-Vehicle Technology

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According to a recent report issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah, older drivers are more likely to be distracted while driving when using in-vehicle technology than younger drivers. For purposes of the study, in-vehicle technology or infotainment systems were classified as the collection of features in a vehicle that allow a driver to complete tasks unrelated to driving while operating their vehicle. The study involved 128 participants categorized into one of two groups: younger drivers, between 21-36 years of age, and older drivers, between 55-75 years of age. Participants were asked to complete tasks such as changing the radio station, song selection, calling and dialing phone numbers, texting, and plotting navigation using in-vehicle information systems while driving six 2018 vehicles including Audi, Cadillac, Lincoln, Mazda, Nissan, and Volvo models. According to researchers, older drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of eight seconds more than younger drivers while completing the tasks. Researchers also noted that older drivers responded more slowly to system commands and experienced visual distractions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. AAA reports that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles the risk of crashing. The study raises concerns that the in-vehicle information systems that are intended to prevent distracted driving may in fact be promoting it. Moreover, AAA estimates that one in five drivers on the road will be over 65 years old by 2023, meaning the number of motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving may grow in the coming years.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle accident as the result of distracted driving, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1‑800-870-9584.

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