The U.S. Department of Transportation has shown that in 2017, there were 37,150 fatalities on the nation’s roads. This makes for a 10 percent increase over 2014, and while public safety officials have not definitively made the link, it appears that the rising use of smartphones and infotainment systems may be partly responsible. Drivers in Ohio will want to know about some recent studies that have been made regarding the effect of technology on drivers.

Researchers at the University of Utah conducted an AAA analysis of infotainment systems, comparing their effect on drivers’ attention to those of interfaces like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 64 participants were asked to drive five different vehicles with built-in infotainment systems and would use the infotainment system and the interfaces at certain times.

The interfaces that run off smartphones were found to be less distracting. Certain functions also demanded less attention than others: for example, CarPlay made texting less distracting, while Android Auto made entering a destination less distracting. Still, neither interface was perfect.

Another study, this time conducted by Agero, a provider of vehicle safety systems, shows that drivers aged 17 to 22 are distracted for an average of 12 percent of their time behind the wheel. Not only mobile tech but also automated features like Tesla’s Autopilot are distracting, as researchers from MIT are showing.

There is no single way to addressmotor vehicle accidents caused by distractions. Even when technology isn’t involved, drivers may become distracted simply by letting their mind wander. This is why accident victims who believe they were not to blame may benefit from hiring a lawyer before filing any claims. The lawyer might, in turn, hire professionals to review the police report, gather evidence from the crash site and show that the defendant was negligent. Only then can the victim proceed to negotiations.