Quick reactions are essential to safe driving in Massachusetts. Thus, one of the greatest dangers with distractions, whether they come from one’s phone or from a conversation with a passenger, is that they slow down this reaction time and raise the risk for a crash. Most drivers are aware that phone use, especially texting, is a serious source of distraction. In its effort to reduce distraction, Apple unveiled its CarPlay system in 2014, but even this poses a risk.
At least, that was the conclusion of a study from the U.K.-based safety charity IAM RoadSmart. After having 20 drivers travel a route in a simulation and use CarPlay’s voice and touch controls to perform various activities, researchers found that drivers became slower in their reactions than they would have become if they were texting or driving while high on marijuana.
Specifically, CarPlay’s voice and touch controls increased the reaction time by 36% and 57%, respectively. By comparison, texting increases it by 35% and marijuana use by 21%. Driving while at the U.K.’s drink-drive limit raises it by 12%. The study’s authors recommend some ways to avert risk. Drivers could plan their destinations on CarPlay before heading out. Apple could do its part by, for example, making CarPlay disable certain features when the car starts moving.
While many things can be done to minimize the risk of distracted driving, drivers can still choose to be negligent on the road. When motor vehicle accidents are clearly the result of negligence, and when victims suffer serious injuries or disabilities, the way can be opened for a third-party insurance claim. Such a claim can cover both monetary damages, like medical bills and lost wages, and non-monetary damages, like pain and suffering. Victims may want to have a lawyer’s advice and guidance.