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New Car Features May Be Promoting Distracted Driving

JACKSON, Mississippi. Distracted driving kills and injures. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving left 3,450 people dead in 2016, and left another 391,000 people injured. While some safety features on new cars can decrease the risks of accidents, many of these safety features make cars safer when they take decision-making out of the equation. Automatic emergency braking and forward collision warnings take some of the decision-making away from drivers to make cars safer. Yet, some new features on cars may be having the opposite effect. When people stop paying attention to the road and start paying more attention to their devices or to a car's added entertainment features, deadly accidents can happen. 

According to Wired, many new cars come equipped with dashboard infotainment systems that do everything from navigate with GPS to playing your favorite songs to answering your phone and dictating your text messages. Some critics of these systems claim that they all but encourage distracted driving. Researchers studied different infotainment systems and found that Apple and Android systems reduced some of the cognitive load, while the infotainment systems built into cars demanded high levels of attention from drivers who were already supposed to be focused on the road. Yet, regardless of the company, all of these systems were found to distract drivers from paying attention to the road. 

Other researchers show that distracted driving could be the reason why we've seen an increase in car accidents in recent years. When researchers put cameras inside cars, they found that in 67 percent of accidents, drivers were distracted when the accident took place. 

People are bad at dividing their attention. When people pay attention to their smartphones or to their car's entertainment systems, tragedy can follow. The issue is so critical to public safety that Wired reports that the subject is currently being studied at MIT. As the stakes become higher--distracted driving means lives lost, the research becomes all the more critical. 

Still, we know what distracts us behind the wheel. Put that phone on silent. Pre-program your music play list before you leave home so you don't need to flip through songs. Put your destination into your GPS before you start driving. Turn off the distractions and prevent accidents. The life you save could be your own. Car accidents can leave victims with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic injuries. 

If you or a loved one was hurt in a distracted driving car accident, contact the Bowling Law Firm, personal injury lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi today. Our brain injury lawyers understand how devastating car accidents can be. We work closely with victims and families to help them seek damages for their medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit us at the Bowling Law Firm today to protect your rights and seek justice. 

The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation 

1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1050 

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112 

Phone: 504-613-4561 

Toll Free: 877-757-3539

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