The good news: The latest technology provides drivers with unprecedented access to navigation, entertainment, and communication.
The bad news: Infotainment systems also pose a danger to older motorists – people 55 to 75 – because they are a distraction.
New research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows the average older driver takes their eyes off the road for as long as eight seconds longer than younger drivers (ages 21 to 36) to program their GPS, choose music, read or write a text, place or receive a phone call and to engage in other tasks. AAA notes a distraction of just two seconds doubles the risk of an accident.
Even voice-control systems pose issues, according to Dr. David Yang, executive director of the foundation.
“Unfortunately, the complexity and poor design of some of these systems could cause more harm for older drivers, in particular, instead of helping them,” he said.
Solutions: Improve Technology, Pay Attention
To combat the problem, AAA recommends changes in infotainment systems:
- Improving voice-command technology
- Simplifying software menus
- Removing complex center console controls
- Positioning controls so drivers can keep their eyes on the road
“Designing systems to meet the safety and comfort needs of aging drivers would benefit all of us today, and for years to come,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research.
AAA also has these safety tips for all drivers, regardless of age:
- Avoid using infotainment systems while driving, except during emergencies.
- Practice using the systems when not driving.
- Avoid driving cars with center console controllers, which are more distracting – and more dangerous.
Don’t Be Distracted from Getting Compensation
Until infotainment technology puts more emphasis on safety, there’s little you can do to protect yourself from distracted motorists in Florida – home, of course, to an older driving population. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be unable to work and provide for your family due to your injuries. The other driver may deny they caused the crash because they were distracted. In fact, they may blame you. Adding to your trauma, an insurance company may pressure you with a financial settlement that is tempting, yet will not fairly compensate you for your injuries and financial losses.
Car accident attorney Scott Miller, of The Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, PLLC, has been handling cases just like yours in the Greater Orlando area for nearly 20 years. Based in Longwood, Miller and his team of experts are familiar with the confusion, frustration, and desperation that you are experiencing. Our legal team will aggressively deal with the police, the courts, the other driver and the insurance company while you focus on what is most important – your recovery.
Contact us today for a free consultation.