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Studies look at distracted driving dangers

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2018 | Car Accidents

Some Oklahoma drivers may be distracted by the infotainment systems included in their cars. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that these systems require a high attention level from drivers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which run off smartphones, were slightly less distracting overall but still took the driver’s attention away from the road.

With traffic fatalities high, distracted driving is a serious issue. In 2017, there was a small decline of less than 1 percent in traffic fatalities compared to the previous year, but there were still 37,150 deaths. Furthermore, since 2014, this is an increase of 10 percent. It is not yet certain what role distracted driving and smartphones have in these deaths, but some experts believe it is a significant one.

Some vehicles that have been equipped with smart cameras support this idea. Over four months, distracted driving caused two-thirds of serious collisions in fleets that had insurance with Atlas Insurance Holdings. Another company, Agero, which focuses on roadside assistance and safety, found that drivers in the 17 to 22 age group spend more than 10 percent of their time behind the wheel on their phones. Semi-autonomous vehicles may also present dangers because it may be difficult to keep drivers attentive.

Distracted drivers who cause car accidents or drivers who cause accidents for other reasons may be financially liable. This means that a person who is injured in the accident may be eligible to receive compensation from the driver if that driver was negligent. This compensation could cover the person’s medical expenses and more. It might be necessary to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation. A civil suit is separate from a criminal case, so even if the person faces criminal charges in the accident but is not convicted, the civil suit could be successful.