It is becoming a simple equation: more technology equals more distracted driving equals more personal injury claims. When it comes to new cars in the United States, MP3 connectivity is practically a given: Nine out of 10 new cars sold in the U.S. have MP3 jacks, according to HealthDay News, and numerous manufacturers offer a wide range of aftermarket controllers claiming to reduce distraction for drivers. Unfortunately, according to one recent study, these gadgets may actually increase the risk of distracted driving rather than reduce it.
In a study involving 50 participants age 18 to 25 who used MP3 players or aftermarket controllers to search for specific songs while driving, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that drivers with longer playlists took their eyes off the road for longer and more frequent periods than drivers with shorter playlists. Although intended to help keep drivers focused on the road, researchers concluded that the aftermarket controllers actually increased the amount of time that drivers spent looking away from the road.
John Lee, a researcher involved in the study, said in a press release that new technology like MP3 players can frequently be much more distracting than old technology like radios, despite seeming very similar. The act of selecting a song, he says, can draw a driver’s attention away from the road for longer than intended, with potentially fatal results.
MP3 players are far from the only culprit when it comes to distracting new technology behind the wheel. More and more often, modern cars come equipped with fancy dashboard gadgets like GPS navigators and voice-control systems that may encourage drivers to multitask on the road. With 5,474 deaths and 448,000 injuries caused by distracted driving in 2009 alone, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration took action recently by issuing a recommendation to auto manufacturers that dashboard electronics be automatically disabled while driving.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.