When most of us buy a new car, we enjoy driving around Lake Charles in a vehicle that’s not only shiny and clean, but with better performance and comfort than our old one. Many of us will also enjoy the new infotainment system in the vehicle’s dash, filled with useful information such as maps and directions, weather, mileage and so on. It also enables drivers to make or receive phone calls and listen to the radio or streaming music.
But what happens when a traffic safety expert buys a new vehicle? Do they react to the bells and whistles as we do? Not exactly. A reporter recently spoke with a distracted driving specialist who just purchased a new vehicle. Spoiler alert: Dr. Neil Chaudhary found the infotainment system to be “incredibly dangerous”; the very type of distraction that can lead to motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities.
“My assumption was this thing wouldn’t be in my vehicle if it was going to be a distraction,” Chaudhary said. “But I found it incredibly dangerous.”
Chaudhary works for the Preusser Research Group, which investigates behavioral traffic safety-related matters for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the National Safety Council and other prominent organizations.
He said research by the AAA Foundation that shows that older drivers are distracted by these in-dash systems eight seconds longer than younger drivers makes even more sense to him now that he’s behind the wheel of a vehicle brimming with “infotainment.” Chaudhary says the difference in distraction times is at least partially explained by the poor designs and difficult use of the systems.
Those precious seconds can make all the difference between driving safely and being in a distracted driving wreck that can mean serious injuries or even death to those involved.
We will have more on Dr. Chaudhary, distractions and safety in our next Lake Charles Legal Blog post.
If you have been harmed by a distracted driver, contact a law firm experienced in fighting effectively for compensation for doctor bills, hospital stays, lost wages and more.