M - Much of the conversation around distracted driving has centered on mobile devices, but a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that in-car infotainment systems are also a culprit. Strayer says the "explosion of technology" has made things worse.
Federal law prohibits train engineers from using cellphones, but there's no federal ban on auto drivers. "I think it had 50 buttons, 50 multi-function buttons".
Infotainment systems in automobiles may help drivers stay plugged in, but they can also cause them to zone out.
The manufacturers of these vehicles face a hard decision.
"Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel", David Yang, executive director of the AAA foundation, said in an announcement.
Clearly automakers haven't worked hard enough to make the systems quick and easy to use, Nelson said.
The study found that 23 of the 30 different vehicles they tested required "high" or "very high" driver attention to use the technology. Seven were rated "moderate".
The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Utah's School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, assessed 30 2017 model vehicles' infotainment systems and the performance of 120 participants on a residential road with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. Just two seconds of not watching the road doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research.
Some cars require the vehicle to be parked in order to type in navigation, but AAA reports that 12 out of the 30 vehicles it tested allows drivers to program navigation while driving.
Navigation distracted drivers for an average of 40 seconds.
Drivers looked away from the road less when using voice commands, but that safety benefit was offset by the increased amount of time drivers spent interacting with the systems. "Just because a technology is available in your vehicle, does not mean it is safe to use while driving".
"Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook", said Doney.