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Specific types of technology may be distracting for older drivers

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2019 | Firm News

You have probably shared the road with a South Dakota driver who was distracted at the time. Perhaps you looked over to see him or her texting or eating, or maybe you have noticed someone looking at his or her GPS system instead of the road. You are likely already very aware of the problem of distracted driving and how dangerous it is for every person on the road.

Like many people, you may assume that younger drivers are more likely to engage in distracted driving than older drivers. While it is true that younger people are very connected to their phones and may be susceptible to the temptation of texting while driving, this is a concern for drivers of all ages. In fact, studies find that older drivers may be prone to distraction due to in-car technology.

A serious safety problem

In-car technology is supposed to reduce distracted driving by allowing drivers to do certain things while keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. For example, Bluetooth technology connects phones with the speakers of the vehicle, allowing the driver to have an entire phone conversation without ever removing a hand from the steering wheel. Other technologies allow drivers to input information into a GPS or change a radio station with a touchscreen or by voice command.

For some, however, these features can lead to cognitive distraction. For older drivers, they may not be able to use these features as well or understand how they operate, which can lead to them trying to figure it out while driving. Studies show that in-car technology is more of a problem for older drivers than younger drivers. An older person tends to take his or her eyes off the road for longer periods of time to use these features than someone who is younger.

A higher chance of a crash

A person taking his or her eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles the chance of an accident. For older drivers, vision and coordination can be an issue when driving, especially when also trying to do other things at the same time.

Distraction of any kind is a safety threat. If you believe that distracted driving is to blame for the accident that left you injured, you do not have to walk through the aftermath alone. It is possible you have grounds to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.