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AAA study shows what vehicle tech is distracting drivers most

Many drivers in Pennsylvania who wish for new technology know that it can bring opportunities for distraction with it. University of Utah researchers have conducted a study for AAA showing that infotainment systems, in particular, are dangerous. They analyzed 30 systems on new 2017 vehicles and found that seven demanded a moderate level of attention, 11 a high level and 12 a very high level.

The participants in the study, aged 21 to 36, were asked to use the various features while driving. Researchers noted how drivers would fail to halt at stop signs, drive way under the posted limit and swerve out of their lanes when distracted by the systems. Even listening to the radio and using voice commands proved to be distracting at some level.

GPS use and texting were the two riskiest activities, distracting drivers for more than 40 seconds each. Previous studies showed that being inattentive for as little as two seconds will double one's chances of getting into a car crash. Researchers blame manufacturers for adding features that are irrelevant to driving, such as technology for calling, texting and updating social media.

In a AAA survey, 70 percent of U.S. adults said they wanted new vehicle tech, but only 24 percent felt the tech was working flawlessly. Drivers should be aware that not all infotainment systems have been fully tested.

Complicated features can also pose a threat. Whatever issues still remain, however, drivers are responsible for keeping their cars under control. When car accidents arise out of negligence, those who are the least negligent can sue the responsible party's auto insurance company. This means filing a personal injury claim, which can be hard without a lawyer. Auto insurance companies will fight to deny a settlement, but an attorney could always prepare a case for court if negotiations fall through.

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