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newsmoments.net October 23, 2017


Infotainment Systems Increase Driver Distraction, Says AAA

07 October 2017, 12:18 | Antonio Miles

The dashboard based systems allow drivers to text use the radio make phone calls or operate a satellite navigation system

The dashboard based systems allow drivers to text use the radio make phone calls or operate a satellite navigation system

When most people think of distracted driving they think of smartphones, but a new study says there are other distractions in vehicles that can be just as bad.

Numerous infotainment features in most 2017 vehicles are so distracting they should not be enabled while a vehicle is in motion, according to a new study released Thursday by University of Utah researchers. They drove 30 new 2017 vehicles, ranging from a Toyota Corolla to a Tesla Model S.

Participants were given a chance familiarize themselves with the road and vehicle's system, and then asked to call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation while driving.

In that time, driving at only 25 miles an hour, a vehicle travels the length of about four football fields. The scale ranged from low to very high levels of demand. Marshall Doney, it's President and CEO, told CNBC: "Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but numerous features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers".


Distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Even hands-free technology, which is meant to be safer, can create mental and visual distractions for the driver, the study found.

"What we're seeing is that many of these companies have enabled technology that's very demanding and not consistent with the NHTSA guidelines".

Creature comforts inside automobiles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with a larger emphasis placed on the infotainment system.


The study found, for instance, that something as common as entering navigation information could distract a driver for as much as 40 seconds when using some of the latest auto tech.

"Some of the latest systems on the market now include functions unrelated to the core task of driving like sending text messages, checking social media or surfing the web - tasks we have no business doing behind the wheel", continued Moody.

"This is troublesome because motorists may assume that features that are enabled when they are driving are safe and easy to use", said David Strayer, a cognitive and neural scientist at the University of Utah, in a statement.

For now, AAA believes the best solution is for automakers to lock drivers out of certain especially distracting features while their cars are moving.


That's the conclusion from new research on distracted driving released Thursday by AAA's Center for Driving Safety and Technology.



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