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Will techno gadgets cause more distracted driving car accidents?

Safety authorities expressed concern about the fact that automakers install more and more infotainment devices in their vehicles to attract more sales while jeopardizing the safety of motorists. They say it started with built-in navigation systems, which have made driving easier and possibly safer. However, the fact that drivers in Ontario and elsewhere use the devices while driving rather than before driving has created more threats of car accidents due to distractions.

When a research group studied 30 vehicles and 120 drivers -- ages 21 to 36 -- and the levels of visual and cognitive distraction they pose, they made particular mention of the Audi Q7. Insurance authorities regard this car as one of the safest passenger vehicles. However, the car has various voice-based and touch-screen technologies that are challenging to operate while also focusing on driving.

The researchers say that consumer demand for tools to allow internet access, text messaging and voice commands is increasing, despite the dangers these features may pose. An independent auto safety consultant explained that automakers are responsible for providing shareholders with profits. If they prioritize safety and fail to answer to the demands of consumers, they might end up with the safest vehicle that nobody wants to buy. Some suggest the technological features should be optional with drivers having the choice of disabling some features while they drive.

Ontario motorists may not realize the high risks of car accidents to which they are exposed -- not necessarily posed by their own vehicles but by the distracted drivers in other cars. Any injuries suffered because of the negligence of other parties can lead to personal injury lawsuits. However, if it involves distractions by gadgets inside the other driver's car, proving negligence may be challenging. An injured victim may be wise to seek the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer to navigate the claim on his or her behalf.

Source: govtech.com, "Study: Tech-Laden Cars Pose Their Own Distracted Driving Risks", Corilyn Shropshire, Accessed on Oct. 27, 2017

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