AAA: Infotainment systems for driving still a distraction, study says

Complicated 'infotainment' car increasing risk of road deaths

Complicated 'infotainment' car increasing risk of road deaths

A new study from AAA found new vehicle "infotainment" systems in cars, the digital control panels built into the dashboard, can be as distracting or more than texting.

In-vehicle voice-based and touchscreen features are too mentally taxing to be considered safe to use while driving, according to a new study by the University of Utah commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. His work has focused on the new breed of infotainment systems, complicated resources for entertainment and driver info. The tasks included making calls, sending a text message, changing the radio and programming navigation while driving. AAA researchers said that at 25 miles per hour, a person could cover the length of four football fields in 40 seconds. The guidelines recommend that automakers lock out the ability to program navigation systems while a vehicle is moving.

None of the systems put a "low" level of demand on drivers.

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AAA Mid-Atlantic says Delaware State Police reported nearly 6,100 crashes previous year in which driver inattention, distraction, or fatigue was a contributing factor.

With one in three US adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions drivers that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have risky consequences. "And drivers should avoid the temptation to engage with these technologies, especially for non-driving tasks".

The AAA spells out some of the hazards of distracting infotainment systems.

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Automakers are cramming "infotainment technology" into new cars and drivers are now taking their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerously long periods of time. Some drivers were distracted for almost 40 seconds while programming navigation. "Automakers have developed vehicle-integrated systems, to which portable electronics may be connected, that are created to be used in the driving environment and require driver attention that is comparable to tuning the radio or adjusting climate controls, which have always been considered baseline acceptable behaviors while driving".

"So what we hope is that our research will be used by consumers to help make a good decision about what vehicles and what technology in the vehicles is best for them", he said.

"We're putting more and more technology in the auto that just does not mix with driving", Strayer said.

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

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