Any person who has seen a new vehicle advertisement on television knows that advanced safety features are commonly touted by automobile manufacturers. From emergency braking to forward collision warning and more, there are a number of advances being made and incorporated into new vehicles with the intention of preventing accidents or minimizing the injury to occupants should an accident occur.

Oddly enough, another type of vehicle feature that is increasingly found in new vehicles today actually increases the risk of an accident happening. Commonly referred to as infotainment systems, these features allow drivers to make or receive calls and text messages, program music or other audio entertainment, and get directional assistance from navigation programs. A study by AAA found that infotainment systems posed serious distracted driving risks to drivers.

Baby boomers, drivers aged from 55 to 75, were found to need even more time to process tasks than drivers between 21 and 36 yet study participants in both age groups required at least 17.7 seconds for any activity. Some actions required a driver’s attention, eyes or hands for as long as 40 seconds. A distraction of even two seconds is said to double a person’s risk of a crash. Distracted driving may involve visual distractions, manual distractions, cognitive distractions or some combination of the three.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people some insights into the true requirements and hazards associated with using in-vehicle technology features so they can take steps to improve their safety and the safety of others while on the road.