AAA: Drivers Increasingly Distracted By Dashboard Technology

Many new satnavs demand very high concentration levels from drivers
Credit
Telegraph

Technology options on many new cars can be overwhelming, and sophisticated infotainment systems also create increased distractions for drivers, according to a new study.

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.

"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", said Marshall Doney, President of the AAA. Drivers get busy using the voice commands, making calls and sending texts along with other interactive technologies.

The guidelines also recommend automakers prevent drivers from texting while driving, but three-quarters of the vehicles tested permit drivers to text while the auto is moving. "Consumers tell us they want more and more of these features in their vehicles", Krebs said, "but accidents are going up, and exactly for this reason - distracted driving".

Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete, the group noted.

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According to AAA, previous research shows that removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash.

In that time, driving at only 25 miles an hour, a vehicle travels the length of about four football fields. Of these 30 vehicles, 23 were found to have "high" or "very high" levels of demand.

There were 11 vehicles rated "high" through the testing, including: Cadillac XT5 Luxury, Chevrolet Traverse LT, Dodge Ram 1500, Ford Fusion Titanium, Hyundai Sonata Base, Infiniti Q50 Premium, Jeep Compass Sport, Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, Kia Sorento LX, Nissan Maxima SV and Toyota Rav 4 XLE.

"The cars that used the screens and the touch pads were probably the ones that made me feel the most uncomfortable", says Meijias.

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