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Features meant to prevent distracted driving don't always work

Many residents of the Houston area have probably heard or seen at least one public service announcement warning about the dangers of distracted driving. Indeed, safety advocates and law enforcement officers have made it a priority to reduce the frequency of texting and driving and other distracted behaviors among motorists traveling on the Texas roads.

Even carmakers have joined in on this effort. Many modern cars include technology like in-car navigation, the ability to make phone calls or send text messages at the sound of one's voice and other features that, in theory, are supposed to allow drivers to keep their eyes and minds on the road.

Unfortunately, these features do not always work as planned. Indeed, drivers ages 21 to 36, that is, those of the Millennial generation, spend about 18 or so seconds using their in-car systems while operating their vehicles' in-vehicle information system or IVIS.

In contemporary models of cars, the IVIS is the central computer that controls things like the radio, the climate system and telecommunications. During the seconds in which the driver is paying attention to the IVIS, the driver is obviously not 100% focused on watching the road.

The problem is even more pronounced among drivers between the ages of 55 and 75, that is, those who probably did not learn to operate vehicles which had hi-tech features like an IVIS. Drivers in this age bracket spent 25.4 seconds working their IVIS while trying to operate their vehicles at the same time.

Whether due to a cell phone in-car technology, distracted driving is still a dangerous behavior that can lead to severe car accidents. Victims of distracted drivers may have the legal option to pursue compensation from those who caused their injuries.

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