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Driven to distraction

It talks to you and it shows you where to go in Seattle and what to do while you're there. It relays messages from your friends and family, plays your favorite songs and lets you know what the weather is like ahead.

This seemingly all-knowing entity is, of course, your car. Today's vehicles are too often themselves the sources of distractions that make driving dangerous. While maps, music, directions, messages and more can be useful and entertaining, the car-provided stimuli are often behind the inattention that causes car accidents, injuries and fatalities.

AAA and the University of Utah recently conducted research that determined that infotainment systems in vehicles such as the 2017 Mazda3 Touring generate significant visual and aural distractions that pull drivers' attention away from the road.

According to a recent news article, AAA and the university put 120 drivers ages 21 to 36 behind the wheel and asked them to enter a destination into the navigation system while driving at just 25 mph in a large parking lot. The average driver covered four football fields while inputting even that most basic data.

AAA's Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research said it's ironic that the auto industry touts these in-vehicle information and entertainment systems as technology that enhances driver safety by allowing you to access information with your hands on the steering wheel, when in reality the results are decidedly mixed.

Those injured by distracted drivers have the right to pursue full compensation for damages. You can speak to an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation about your legal options.

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