Car Infotainment Systems

Car Infotainment Systems: An Underreported Source of Driver Distraction

Car infotainment systems, while offering convenience and entertainment, also present a significant challenge to road safety. The allure of interacting with a touchscreen or responding to a text message can divert attention from the road, leading to dangerous driving situations. 

If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident because of the distracted actions of another driver, an experienced attorney can establish liability and help you obtain the largest possible compensation for your injuries and losses. These are people who have been down the legal corridors before and know what can be lurking in those shadows.

Impact of Car Infotainment on Road Accidents in California

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2019, over 76,000 distracted driving-related collisions occurred in the state. These collisions resulted in injuries and fatalities, underscoring the urgency of addressing the issue. These are a few specific dangers associated with the technologically advanced infotainment systems installed in vehicles:

Social Media and Messaging Distractions

Infotainment systems often integrate with smartphones, allowing drivers to access social media and messaging apps. Engaging with notifications, reading messages, or composing responses diverts attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.

Email and Internet Browsing

Some infotainment systems offer internet connectivity and email access. Browsing the web or reading emails while driving can lead to prolonged visual and cognitive distractions, significantly impairing the driver’s ability to react to changing traffic conditions.

Entertainment Apps and Streaming

In-car entertainment apps and streaming services contribute to visual and cognitive distractions. Drivers may become engrossed in selecting music, playlists, or videos, taking attention away from the primary task of driving safely.

Overreliance on Voice Commands

While voice commands aim to facilitate hands-free interactions, an overreliance on this feature can pose dangers. Misinterpretations, system errors, or delays in responsiveness may lead to frustration and distraction, compromising road safety.

Complex Multi-Function Displays

Vehicles with multi-function displays that combine various information, such as climate control, navigation, and entertainment, can be distracting. Attempting to manage multiple functions on a single screen may overwhelm the driver.

Challenges Associated with Proving Distracted Driving in Car Accident Claims

  • Lack of Direct Evidence: Unlike other factors in a car accident, such as speeding or running a red light, distracted driving is often challenging to prove with direct evidence. Unlike a breathalyzer test for impaired driving, there is no equivalent device to definitively prove distraction.
  • Subjectivity of Behavior: Distracted driving behaviors are subjective and can vary widely. Activities like adjusting the radio, eating, or using a hands-free device may not be as readily observable or measurable as other forms of negligence.
  • Driver Admissions: While some drivers may admit to being distracted, many are reluctant to admit fault. Even if a driver acknowledges distraction, they might not provide details about the specific actions that led to the distraction.
  • No Visible Signs of Distraction: In some cases, there may be no visible signs of distraction, making it challenging to pinpoint the cause of the accident. Unlike signs of impairment, distracted driving might not leave physical evidence on the driver.
  • Limited Police Reports: Police reports may not always contain detailed information about the driver’s activities leading up to the accident. Law enforcement officers may prioritize assessing injuries, determining fault, and managing traffic over investigating potential distractions.
  • Short Attention Windows: Distractions often occur in a matter of seconds. The challenge is proving that a specific distraction, such as texting, occurred precisely at the moment of the accident. This requires detailed and often time-sensitive evidence.

Despite these challenges, establishing distracted driving in car accident claims is not impossible. It often requires a thorough investigation, collaboration with law enforcement, gathering witness statements, and, in some cases, the expertise of accident reconstruction specialists or technology (such as video footage or cell phone records) to build a compelling case. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can significantly help tackle these complexities and improve the chances of proving distracted driving in a car accident claim.

Suing for Your Personal Injury and Property Damage After a Car Accident

California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23123.5 prohibits drivers from holding and using a cell phone while driving. This includes texting, making phone calls, and other activities that involve holding the device. The law encourages the use of hands-free technology for phone calls and voice-activated commands for other functionalities to minimize distractions. Based on this, this has given rise to drivers depending on infotainment systems.

Speak with a car accident attorney as soon as you can to determine liability and preserve all necessary evidence to prove negligence. It’s critical to realize that having a seasoned auto accident lawyer on your side can improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Your attorney will assess the circumstances of your accident and file a claim to maximize financial recovery. 

You may be able to obtain compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Disability
  • Loss of consortium

They can even notify the insurance company on your behalf and handle all communication with them. The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim in California is two years. However, time is of the essence in determining liability and gathering necessary evidence to prove negligence. 

Our Trusted Car Accident Lawyers are Here to Give You the Best Legal Advice and Support. Call Now.

Your well-being and the compensation you need to move forward with your life are top priorities at Garmo & Garmo, LLP. Our seasoned car accident attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing clients in similar cases. We have secured substantial settlements and verdicts, demonstrating our commitment to delivering justice for the injured victims. Call us at 619-441-2500 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.