Driving in New Jersey, as elsewhere, requires quick reaction times. Everything from phones and radios to food can pose a distraction, though, and decrease that reaction time to a dangerous level. A study from IAM RoadSmart has found that one of the most dangerous things a driver can do is use Apple’s CarPlay system.
Though CarPlay may make it more enjoyable for drivers to use their infotainment systems, it does not reduce distractions like Apple claims it does. Its voice assist and touch controls increase a driver’s reaction times by 36% and 57%, respectively. This is a greater increase than that what researchers found in drivers who text (35%), talk on a hands-free phone (27%) or are high on marijuana (21%).
Forty drivers were involved in the study, half of whom used CarPlay and half of whom tested out the Android Auto. What researchers did was have them drive a route on a simulator three times, once without utilizing the tech, once while operating voice assist and once while operating touch controls. All the while, they were monitored for their ability to maintain their speed, stay in a lane and react to various stimuli. Researchers say that additional research is needed before they can say why drivers are more distracted by CarPlay.
Even if Apple were to improve the safety of CarPlay, this will not completely prevent drivers from becoming distracted. Distraction is a form of negligence, and those at fault could be held liable for any resulting auto accidents. New Jersey being a no-fault state, victims of such accidents can usually be covered for their monetary damages through their own insurance company. Those who incur serious injuries, though, may ask a lawyer about filing a third-party insurance claim.