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CarPlay contributes more to driver distraction than texting

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2020 | Personal Injury

CarPlay is an interface that lets drivers use their iPhone together with the car’s infotainment system. Indiana drivers may have heard that CarPlay, according to its maker, Apple, can reduce the level of distraction that arises when one physically handles the phone. However, a study from the U.K.-based road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has come out with some contrary findings.

As part of the study, 20 drivers used CarPlay in a simulation while having their behavior behind the wheel monitored. Researchers discovered that when drivers used CarPlay’s voice and touch controls, respectively, to carry out tasks, they became 36% and 57% slower in reacting to various stimuli than when they were driving without using CarPlay.

The study involved 20 other drivers who used Android Auto, a sort of rival to CarPlay. The results were similar: Reaction times increased 30% and 53% with the use of voice and touch controls, respectively.

This is where the study contradicts Apple’s claim that CarPlay is safer than handling the phone. Researchers found that handheld phone use increases a driver’s reaction time by 46% and texting by 35%. Hands-free phones increase it by 27% and marijuana use raises it by 21%. It’s clear that Apple should try to make CarPlay safer, such as by disabling certain features when a car is moving.

Victims of a car crash may have good grounds for a personal injury case if the other driver was distracted by CarPlay. Of course, distractions can arise in any number of ways, and some are much more difficult to prove in a claim than others. For help navigating these and other challenges, victims may hire a lawyer. The lawyer may start by evaluating the case in the light of Indiana’s modified comparative fault rule. Victims may leave all negotiations to their lawyer.