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Distracted driving and car tech: Three things to consider

If you have purchased a new car in the last few years, you probably are familiar with all the high-tech ways to navigate, be entertained and use features like advanced climate control and backup cameras. But do these innovations add to the issue of distracted driving?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, eight people are killed every day in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver. Additionally, more than 1,100 people are injured.

What is distracted driving? Put simply, it is when you are driving and doing another activity that takes your attention away from the road – talking, eating, texting, using a navigation system.

Many states, like Ohio, have created laws to curb distracted driving – especially among young drivers. In Ohio, any drivers younger than 18 cannot use a cell phone while driving, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. All drivers, regardless of age, are banned from texting while driving. The enforcement of this law is primary for drivers 18 and under and secondary for those older than 18, according to the Institute.

Here are three things for all motorists to consider on car technology and distracted driving.

  1. Navigation systems

With navigation systems available on phones and in cars, it is easy to find your destination nowadays. However, it is easy to get distracted while listening to directions or trying to find your destination. Many in-car navigation systems require that the vehicle be in park before typing in an address, but not all. And some such safety features can be overridden for a passenger to use. The key here is to use common sense: If you are lost or need to add a waypoint, pull over. It’s always better to be late than to get in a crash.

  1. DVD players and other entertainment systems

A decade ago, few cars had DVD players or other entertainment systems. Nowadays, your average minivan is like a living room on wheels, with surround sound, multiple screens and other entertainment features at your fingertips. To stay safe, be sure to set your passengers up with their movies or games – and headphones – before you put the vehicle in drive. And if you need to change the movie or fix someone’s volume control? Pullover. Taking your hands – and eyes – off the road is a bad idea and can lead to a crash.

  1. Learning how your car’s systems work

Newer cars have a plethora of high-tech systems that can be very distracting while driving. If you get a new vehicle, be sure to take some time before hitting the road to learn how to adjust the radio, work the seats, turn the climate control on and off and use other features without taking your eyes off the road. With many vehicles now coming with large screens and touch-screen technology, it’s best to have your car dealer help you learn the ropes while the vehicle is safely in park – and then practice some more at home. If you are trying to turn on your heated seat while going 70 miles an hour and take your eyes off the road, you could end up in a collision.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If you have any questions about Ohio’s laws – or how you can recover damages if you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to deal with the insurance companies and ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. Contact the experienced Columbus, Ohio car accident attorney Ed Schottenstein of Schottenstein Law Offices for a complimentary consultation. Call us TODAY at (614) 467-8474.