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Distracted Driving Caused by Elaborate Infotainment Systems

I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law in simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics on personal injury law.

Have you looked at the dashboard screens on the newest cars being offered for sale?

Many new car makers have incorporated lengthy computer screens that replace the speedometer layout of older cars and extend into what has been a traditionally separate navigation and infotainment screen. Some screens are curved and spread 25 to 30 inches from the dash’s far left to the car’s middle.

Car makers can save money by presenting images showing a digital speedometer and digital tachometer instead of installing mechanical components that provide the same vehicle information.

But, is the motoring public’s safety compromised by presenting drivers with complex systems that might distract a driver?

When you position yourself behind the wheel of an unfamiliar car, the learning curve is high when it comes to figuring out how to work the navigation system, configure Bluetooth connections, and figure out how to access USB devices you might plug in.

Some car makers smartly prevent the car from moving when it senses the driver might be attending to something other than the road. But, when a driver is at highway speed, the vehicle cannot stop moving if it senses the driver touching a screen.

Some car makers are bundling radio and climate controls into a digital touchscreen layout. You need to navigate a touch screen to raise or lower the temperature, and you are back to scrolling a touch screen to change the fan speed.

Again, you are navigating a touch screen to select a radio station or choose to play music stored on a plugin USB.

Are these digital touchscreen layouts more distracting and dangerous than old-fashioned physical buttons and dials?

The jury is out, but the physical buttons are far less distracting to many people.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”