Meirowitz & Wasserberg LLP

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How safe are vehicle infotainment systems?

If you are like most people in New York, technology has come to play an essential role in your life today. You might not ever think about leaving home without your cell phone either literally in hand or on your person in some fashion. From computers to wearables to smart home devices and more, consumers rely more and more on advanced technology. The same is true when driving.

Many cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks made today include large display screens via which a driver can do a lot of things like make or receive phone calls or text messages, enter in a destination to assess directions, and more. Often referred to as infotainment systems, AAA Exchange indicates that these things may actually be contributing to distracted driving despite their widespread adoption.

A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reviewed 40 different infotainment systems and evaluated the level of manual, mental and visual demand they placed on drivers. A total of 29 systems required high or very high demand and 11 required moderate demand. AAA indicates that only low demand levels are truly safe. Completing a navigation programming action was found to be the single most distracting activity a driver could engage in.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in New York a broader understanding of the things that may contribute to distractions on the road, thereby increasing the risk of a motor vehicle accident, so they may make safe decisions when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

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