Shocking New Research Released About Distracted Driving

Shocking New Research Released About Distracted Driving

The growing prevalence of "infotainment" technology in new vehicles is creating more distractions for drivers, according to new research from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Strayer found that some vehicle infotainment systems are more distrating than others, and some are more hard to operate, but that they all divert a driver's attention. Researchers had two dozen volunteers test-drive 30 different vehicles on a residential road and the study found drivers were visually distracted for more than 40 seconds when programming the navigation system or sending a text message. At 25 miles per hour (40 kph), a vehicle can travel the length of four football fields during the time it takes to enter a destination. None of the vehicle systems tested were categorizes as low demand, seven of the systems produced moderate demand, 11 systems commandeered high demand and 12 systems very high demand.

The study, released on Thursday, looked at InVehicle Information Systems to determine how complicated they are to operate and the impact they have on a driver's attention and focus.

With one in three USA adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions drivers that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have unsafe consequences.

Even older drivers called the technology cumbersome.

The study examined not only visual (eyes-off-road), cognitive (mental) demand, but also accounted for how long it took drivers to complete tasks using vehicle technology.

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Navigation distracted drivers for an average of 40 seconds.

Even hands-free technology, which is meant to be safer, can create mental and visual distractions for the driver, the study found. Automakers should also design infotainment systems so that they require no more attention to use than listening to the radio or an audiobook, it said.

Some automakers have already disabled certain infotainment features when the vehicle is in drive.

The rise of "infotainment" #Technology in cars has caused a professor to raise concern about the distraction the newest cars are providing for drivers. "This is troublesome", the report says, "because motorists may assume that features that are enabled when they are driving are safe and easy to use".

A previous AAA study found that using voice commands on a smartphone was more distracting than talking on a smartphone while driving.

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