Many of the newer models of cars come equipped with all kinds of hi-tech features that are supposed to make driving safer and more comfortable. For instance, most vehicles these days come equipped with built-in navigation systems as well as features that allow drivers to place and receive phone calls, in theory without using their hands.
However, one group, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, recently reported that these conveniences can still contribute to the ongoing distracted driving problem that is leading to serious motor vehicle accidents around the country, particularly when it comes to older drivers.
According to the report, drivers between 55 and 75 devote about 25.4 seconds to managing their in-vehicle technology, which includes things like the radio, navigation and the car’s communication system. On the other hand, drivers ages 21 to 36 spend about 18 seconds on the same tasks.
The report was measuring the typical time that a driver actually took his eyes off of the road in order to handle the car’s technology. With respect to this result, the AAA warned that even taking one’s eyes off the road for a couple of seconds doubles the risk that the driver will cause an accident.
That being said, while the problem does seem to be more pronounced among older drivers, motorists of all ages are simply too distracted by the very technology that is supposed to prevent driver distractions.
While some blame the problem on a faulty or inadequate design of the in-car technology, the point is that drivers of any age have an obligation to pay attention to the road. Even if it is their own car’s technology that is distracting them, if their failure to pay attention causes an accident, they can be held financially accountable for the victims’ losses.