The Link Between Distracted Driving and Older Adults

Home » The Link Between Distracted Driving and Older Adults
August 03, 2019
Edward Smith

Older Adults and Distracted Driving 

A recent study has suggested that seniors are challenged by the technology that is being more commonly installed into the dashboards of numerous vehicles. The distraction with dashboard technology is indicated to increase the risk of car accidents. The dashboard technology, known as infotainment systems, was installed to make it easier for drivers to find their favorite song or to navigate their way to an unfamiliar address. However, this recent study suggests that infotainment systems may be a double-edged sword: the screens were found to be very distracting, especially for elderly adults.

What Did the Study Find?

The automobile association that conducted the study worked in conjunction with the University of Utah to test seniors in various newer vehicles as they attempted to use the dashboard screens. One of the main study findings was that drivers who were 55+ years old were slower than millennials while operating vehicle functions such as navigation and calling. This gap was up to eight seconds. The added time could mean danger. It has been proven that even just taking your eyes away from the road for two seconds can double the risk of an accident.

When drivers are faced with an in-car task (such as operating an infotainment system) while driving a vehicle, their attention is shifting back and forth. A lack of concentrated attention while driving is risky. These increasingly intricate touchscreens are not the issue. The study results also suggested that even hands-free operations such as voice commands – created to keep driver’s eyes on the road – can end up being a distraction, as well as causing frustration when commands go unrecognized.

Safely Managing Technology and Driving

While it may be tempting to keep tweaking with the technology until it performs the task you request, safety experts strongly recommend taking a moment to pull over to the side of the road. It is also important to note that many tasks, such as programming navigation, should be mapped out before you begin driving. Moreover, consider the significance of any task that may distract you – is the task really necessary? If not, save it for a time where you are stopped or at your destination.

Watch YouTube Video: Study Shows Older Drivers More Distracted by In-car Technology. In the following video, CBS News reporter Diane King-Hall explains how the in-car technology known as Infotainment system can be more of a distraction for drivers 55 years and older.

Pittsburg Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Pittsburg Personal Injury Attorney. If you were injured in a car accident due to another’s negligent driving behavior, you may benefit from contacting a seasoned injury lawyer to learn about your options. I would be more than happy to give you my free, friendly, and professional advice. Call me at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.

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