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CarPlay more risky for drivers than texting or marijuana use

Residents of New York may have heard of Apple’s CarPlay interface. They may even be using it in their own cars. While the technology has its benefits, it has been found, in spite of Apple’s claim to the contrary, to raise the level of distraction among drivers. A study from IAM RoadSmart, the U.K.-based road safety charity, says specifically that CarPlay can increase reaction times to a dangerous degree.

CarPlay comes with both voice and touch controls. The former can make drivers 36% slower in reacting while the latter makes drivers 57% slower. This is more dangerous than the effect of handheld phone use (46% slower reaction times). It is also much more risky for drivers than texting (35%), hands-free phone use (27%), marijuana use (21%) and intoxication at the U.K.’s drink-drive limit (12%) are.

Researchers came to these conclusions after having 20 drivers travel a given route three times in a simulation. The first time, they drove without any distractions. The second and third times, they used CarPlay’s voice and touch controls, respectively, to carry out certain tasks.

Researchers had a separate group of 20 drivers use Android Auto as well, and its voice and touch controls were only marginally better at keeping drivers’ attention with reaction times increasing 30% and 53%, respectively.

Though Apple could improve CarPlay’s safety, this would not take away from the fact that drivers are responsible at all times for keeping their vehicle under control. When a slight distraction prevents them from carrying this duty out and they crash, then they may find themselves facing a personal injury case. Victims of negligence have the right to be reimbursed for their medical expenses and other losses, but they may want a lawyer to protect their rights and give them representation.