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Study finds new car features increase distraction

Many new cars sold in Iowa offer added features such as GPS navigation and calling through vehicle dashboards. A study by AAA has found that many of these features can pose as a distraction, which increases the risk of car accidents.

Researchers at the University of Utah looked at 30 different added features on 2017 model vehicles. The features were ranked in terms of the demand levels for use by drivers. Seven were rated as moderate level demand, 11 as high demand, 12 very high demand, and none were ranked as low demand for use by drivers.

Researchers found that using GPS technology was the most distracting task followed by texting while driving. Participants in the study were observed to be swerving out of their lanes, disobeying stop signs and driving well over posted speed limits.

The researchers also suggest that car manufacturers should be careful about which features they add in newer model vehicles, since many features create a distraction for drivers while not improving safety. Features operated by voice commands may allow drivers to avoid using their phone for texting while driving, but drivers may still be distracted by needing to look at a dashboard in the vehicle to make sure that their commands are going through correctly.

Many car accidents every year are caused by distracted driving. A person who has injured in a car accident by a distracted driver may be able to file a claim for compensation for damages from the accident. An attorney might be able to help demonstrate through the introduction of evidence how the at-fault driver was negligent.

In cases that involve failed safety features, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help injured car accident victims sue auto manufacturers and dealers. However, many safety features like automatic braking are designed to be operated with an attentive driver behind the wheel. Experts advise drivers not to rely on a car's added safety features and continue to use caution while driving.

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