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Your car's infotainment system: delightful, diverting, dangerous?

Your car’s infotainment system delivers much more than directions. The latest versions enable you to send and receive messages, make calls, receive calls and play your favorite tunes all at the same time. Some systems even recognize the driver’s handwriting as a way of helping those behind the wheel get information more efficiently. Of course, many would wonder how a driver can be scribbling on an infotainment system while safely operating their vehicle.

A new study by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that it is increasingly more difficult to pay attention to both your infotainment system and the traffic. Unfortunately, these systems built into cars are more and more often the source of distractions that can lead to motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

Wired reports that AAA’s study isn’t the first to conclude that, as entertaining and informative as these systems might be, they “make driving a bit more dangerous, by demanding too much of those who are supposed to be watching the road.”

Participants in the AAA study drove five different vehicles and the installed infotainment systems, or Android Auto or Apple’s CarPlay. Overall, the built-in systems demand more of the drivers’ attention than the Apple or Android products.

But even Apple and Android products have concerning flaws: “Both incurred moderately high levels of demand,” the researchers said.

The bottom line, Wired states, is that carmakers, Apple and Android all have more work to do to make their products safer for drivers to use. Of course, drivers also have work to do to make sure that they don’t succumb to the attractive high-tech invitations to look at screens instead of traffic and the road.

Those who are harmed by a distracted driver can discuss their legal options with an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.

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