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Do in-car infotainment systems actually benefit drivers?

Numerous people in Illinois and across the country love having the ability of accessing technology whenever they please. With many people, likely yourself included, having some sort of smartphone, tablet or other portable device that allows them to easily browse the internet or check various apps, information and assistance usually remains within arm's reach. While this convenience may help you stay updated on the various goings-on with your friends, family and in the world, it may not always act as a blessing.

Because individuals have become so reliant on technology, different "smart" devices and programs show up where they never did before. Children's games, home appliances and even your vehicle boast systems that go far beyond what individuals in previous decades could access. However, when it comes to the technology in vehicles, distraction is a prominent issue.

What are infotainment systems?

The latest models of a number of vehicles from various manufacturers offer "infotainment systems." These systems typically come with some sort of digital screen placed in the dashboard of the vehicle that allows you to access a myriad of programs ranging from the radio to GPS. Though these programs may offer some convenience, they can also significantly distract drivers.

Distracted driving is a considerable hazard, and multiple vehicle manufacturers have rolled out vehicles with infotainment systems that are considered highly distracting. To name a few, Cadillac, Volvo and Acura land among the brands with the most distracting systems. Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrysler came in as having the least distracting infotainment systems, but still distracting nonetheless.

Improved or not improved?

Though digital touch screens can make the inside of a vehicle seem sleeker and more aesthetically appealing, they may also cause unnecessary complications. Where radio and air conditioning knobs used to exist, a single screen is now used to access these and other applications. As a result, you may need to take your eyes off the road multiple times in order to find the right application or press the right icon, especially if the screen malfunctions or you open the wrong program.

Taking your eyes off the road for mere seconds greatly increases the chances of an accident. Many people may find themselves staring at their infotainment screens trying to open the desired application or entering GPS information and not even realize they have forgotten to look at the road. Unfortunately, this type of distraction could easily result in a serious or fatal accident. In fact, distracted driving resulted in over 3,000 deaths in 2016 in the United States alone.

Have you suffered damages?

If you have been involved in an accident and suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one due to a distracted driver, you may wonder about your legal options. Personal injury or wrongful death claims filed against the driver considered responsible could potentially help you pursue compensation for resulting damages.

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