November 8, 2023
Auto Accident

Increasingly, modern vehicles are equipped with touchscreen infotainment systems, providing drivers with various features and functions at their fingertips. You can now access GPS maps and call home with the touch of a button, letting you navigate more efficiently and drive safely with hands-free calling features.

While these advancements can enhance the driving experience and offer some benefits for safety, they often lead to distracted driving. In 2022, 3,522 people died due to distracted driving in the U.S. 

It’s essential to recognize the dangers of touchscreen controls and how they can affect liability in a car accident. This can help prevent misuse and increase safety for all road users.

Dangers of Distracted Driving While Using a Touchscreen

Operating touchscreen controls while driving poses risks to drivers on Alabama roadways. With the advancement of in-vehicle technologies, drivers often feel a false sense of security, believing that infotainment systems are safe to use while driving.

However, drivers can easily become distracted when using voice-based and touchscreen features. An AAA study found that infotainment use often results in 40 seconds of distraction for tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. 

Considering that just two seconds doubles the crash risk, any distraction resulting from these systems is a major safety concern. Distractions like this can often lead to rear-end collisions and lane departures as drivers unknowingly drift from their lane or fail to notice slowing traffic ahead due to operating their touchscreen.

Liability Assessment by Insurance Companies and Legal Professionals

In accidents involving touchscreen distractions, determining liability can be complex. Insurance companies and legal professionals must carefully assess the circumstances to assign blame accurately.

If you were hurt in a crash due to another driver’s distracted driving, your Alabama car accident lawyer can use the following evidence to determine liability:

  • Phone records. Phone records can provide a timeline of events leading up to an accident, indicating whether a driver was using their phone or touchscreen device at the time of the crash. If it can be proven that the driver was engaged with the touchscreen when the accident occurred, this evidence may be used against them.
  • Eyewitness accounts. Eyewitnesses to an accident can offer valuable insights into a driver’s behavior before a crash. Their statements may indicate whether touchscreen distractions were a contributing factor. For instance, they may have seen the driver looking down at the system, pressing buttons instead of focusing on the road when they drifted into your lane.
  • Expert testimony. Your legal team may call experts in distracted driving and accident reconstruction to provide testimony. For instance, a distracted driving expert can testify that the driver’s erratic lane changes correlated with the timestamps of touchscreen interactions, indicating the infotainment system’s role in the accident.

Defenses and Arguments

Drivers involved in accidents where touchscreen distractions are a factor may use various defenses to minimize liability. Your attorney can help you refute the following arguments, prove fault, and get you a fair settlement:

  • Contributory negligence. The driver may argue that you were partially responsible for the collision. For example, they may say that you were speeding or texting.

Alabama’s contributory negligence disqualifies you from receiving compensation if you were even 1% liable for the incident, so working with a skilled attorney who can prove your claim is crucial.

  • Faulty equipment. If the touchscreen system malfunctioned or experienced technical issues beyond the driver’s control, they may argue that these factors contributed to the accident. Your attorney can review all evidence to determine if the driver or the infotainment manufacturer might be responsible for your damages.
  • Lack of proof. Drivers may challenge the validity of the evidence presented against them, claiming that it does not definitively establish their use of the touchscreen at the time of the accident.

Our attorneys at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers can collect evidence such as vehicle telematics data or surveillance camera footage, refuting the at-fault party’s defense and proving their actions caused the crash.

Get Skilled Legal Representation After a Crash Caused by Vehicle Touchscreen Use

With new technologies becoming more available in cars, distractions from vehicle touchscreens are a major safety concern for drivers. All road users should limit infotainment use when driving to protect everyone’s safety.

If you suffer injuries in a crash caused by a driver distracted by a vehicle touchscreen, speak with our team at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers. We can collect and analyze technology-based evidence and use our legal skills to help you win fair compensation.

Contact us today and get the skilled legal representation you deserve after a crash.

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