Distracted driving not always manual

For several years now, residents in Ohio have heard people warn of the dangers of distracted driving. To a large degree, the emphasis here has been on texting or the handheld use of a phone to make and answer calls while actively driving. However, these are far from the only forms of distraction out there. In fact, research shows that some of the technological advances many consumers believe increase their safety against distracted driving remain highly distracting and therefore highly dangerous.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study that evaluated two of the three main forms of distracted driving in 40 different recent model vehicles. It did not evaluate manual distractions but cognitive and visual distractions only. Not even one of the systems were identified to have a low level of driver distraction and only 11 were identified with moderate distraction levels. A total of 29 vehicle systems were found to have high or very high distraction levels with 12 having high and 17 having very high levels.

The worst offender when it came to these distractions was the act of programming a vehicle's navigation system. This is perhaps one of the most often performed acts by many drivers who want to find their way around in an unfamiliar location or who may be searching for the best route home to avoid bad traffic.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that the 3,450 deaths in 2016 attributed to distracted driving actually represents an increase of more than two percent over the prior year, showing that more is needed to effectively combat this risk on the road.

 

 

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