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Are drivers distracted by hands free technology in the car?

In most vehicles, when a driver gets behind the wheel their phone connects automatically to their car. Using technology, drivers can switch channels on the radio, answer phones and even dictate text messages. Many motorists consider this safer than having the actual phone in their hand, as their eyes rarely have to leave the road while performing these functions. They figure they are less distracted while driving as a result.

However, Washington state residents may not be aware that distracted driving is not about keeping one's eyes on the road-it is also about keeping one's mind on the road. Even if someone is not looking away from the road, if they are not able to process and cognitively assess what is happening on the road, they are distracted. This is why drowsy driving or driving while daydreaming are equally dangerous forms of distracted driving.

Additionally, the very infotainment centers that are supposed to ease driving for drivers may be causing distractions on the road. According to a report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, older drivers are more likely to be distracted by in-vehicle technology than their younger counterparts. The study says that drivers between the ages of 55 and 75 took their eyes off the road for eight seconds more than younger drivers to use navigation or to tune the radio. Taking one's eyes off the road for two seconds doubles the likelihood of a car accident, so imagine the damage eight seconds can do.

In 2017, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving auto accidents. Paying attention to the road and adhering to traffic laws is one surefire way to ensure that these crashes do not take place, but people often neglect following the rules. When this happens and someone is injured as a result, it might be possible to pursue legal action against them.

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