California drivers may be able to use their iPhone behind the wheel thanks to Apple CarPlay, but they should be aware of the dangers involved. Though Apple claims that CarPlay reduces distraction, a study from the U.K.-based safety charity IAM RoadSmart has found that the system does no favors to a driver’s reaction times.
The study involved 20 drivers who used CarPlay in a simulator and 20 drivers who used Android Auto in a simulator. Both traveled a simulated route three times, and during the second and third go-around, drivers used the voice assist and touch controls, respectively. During that time, drivers were monitored for their ability to react to stimuli, maintain a safe speed, stay in their lane and so on.
Researchers discovered that using CarPlay’s voice and touch features increased response times by 36% and 57%, respectively. By comparison, drivers who text are 35% slower in their reactions while drivers who are high on marijuana are only 21% slower.
Those who continue to use CarPlay are encouraged to perform certain actions before driving, such as plotting the destination and setting up the playlist. Researchers also say that Apple should improve the safety of CarPlay. This could be done by strengthening warnings and automatically disabling the more distracting features when a car begins to move.
From smartphones and CarPlay to driver-assist systems, it seems that a host of new technology is contributing to driver distraction and, by extension, to motor vehicle crashes. The victim of a distracted driving accident may want to see a lawyer about filing a third-party insurance claim. While it can be difficult to prove distracted driving in some cases, the lawyer could make this step easier by hiring crash investigators and other third parties. The lawyer may handle all settlement negotiations and litigate as a last resort.