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Research: Distracted driving more dangerous than drunk driving

As we all know, drunk drivers have long been considered the most dangerous drivers on the streets of Raleigh and across the nation. New research makes it clear that it is time to reconsider those old ideas. While drivers impaired by alcohol are still as dangerous as ever, the new study shows that the reaction times of distracted drivers can be significantly worse and result in violent motor vehicle crashes, serious injuries and fatalities.

The research by IAM RoadSmart is focused on one source of distractions: infotainment systems. These in-dash devices supply drivers with maps, directions, music, audio books, rear-view camera views, weather information and more.

The two most popular infotainment systems are powered by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. In their study, researchers looked at the reaction times of drivers using the two systems. One of their findings is that infotainment system use increases the average stopping distance between four and five car-lengths.

Drivers are keeping their eyes off of the roads and traffic for up to 16 seconds at a time, according to the researchers.

Here’s a look at the increase in reaction times involving the following factors:

  • Alcohol use: 12 percent
  • Marijuana use: 21 percent
  • Android Auto (voice control): 30 percent
  • Texting: 35 percent
  • Apple CarPlay (voice control): 36 percent
  • Android Auto (touchscreen): 53 percent
  • Apple CarPlay (touchscreen): 57 percent

In some respects, shocking results. Hopefully, the study and the many others like it will encourage infotainment system designers to make the devices safer for use while vehicles are in motion.

Those who have been harmed by a distracted or drunk driver should contact a Raleigh lawyer experienced in personal injury litigation.

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