Sci-tech

Drivers distracted by dashboard technology at higher risk of crashing

Drivers distracted by dashboard technology at higher risk of crashing

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report suggesting that the latest infotainment systems in new vehicle promote distracted driving behaviors and on a scale greater than cell phones.

None of the 30 vehicle infotainment systems produced low demand and many of them offered features unrelated to the core task of driving.

The study participants were told to use interactive technologies while driving, such as a voice command or touch screen to send a text message, tune the radio or set a location for navigation. At 25 miles per hour, that's enough time for a driver to travel the length of four football fields, a long distance to be distracted from the road. Programming navigation and sending a text message.

The study found that 23 of the 30 different vehicles they tested required "high" or "very high" driver attention to use the technology.

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. This is far from the first study to point out the dangers of distracted driving, with infotainment systems being a point of focus. It also says drivers should only use distracting technologies when its urgent to do so and should not automatically assume that a technology built into a vehicle is safe to use while driving. Some drivers were distracted for almost 40 seconds while programming navigation.

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

AAA president and CEO Marshall Doney said, "Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio".

"I rented a auto just recently", University of Utah researcher David Strayer recently told this news outlet.

AAA said drivers should use infotainment technologies "only for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving-related purposes".

The rise of "infotainment" #Technology in cars has caused a professor to raise concern about the distraction the newest cars are providing for drivers.