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Are In-Car Touch Screens Distracting Drivers?

According to several news agencies, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently reported that its agents are working on new guidelines concerning in-car touch screens in order to curb a growing concern related to distractions.

A recent study showed that, while drivers are distracted when using their phones to talk, their response timing slows down considerably when the driver is texting and driving or fiddling with the infotainment touch screen.  Recent data has indicated that the in 2011, over 3,000 people were fatally injured in auto accidents related to distracted driving.  Over 387,000 people were injured also in 2011 as the result of distracted driving accidents.

The federal agency believes that if the guidelines change for automakers, the touch screen design that will be predominant in the future could be safer and more practical. According to the federal agency, they want automakers to ban any type of text or website display when the driver is behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. They also want to have companies to make systems that do not take as long to load or perform certain tasks as the devices do now. These changes and new guidelines could help drivers to avoid accidents, agents say, despite critics that say that more regulation and restrictions could push drivers to use their handhelds more often.

As an attorney, I urge drivers to beware of certain risks associated with distracting technologies. Make sure you look for a vehicle that fits your needs and that provides important safety features.

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About the Author
The Vachon Law Firm is based in Southern California and focuses exclusively on consumer protection litigation.