Automobile technology has played a vital role in creating immensely safer vehicles. In addition to car safety equipment that has now become government-mandated and standard on all vehicles, studies such as those conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have shown that some vehicle technologies such as whiplash prevention and automobile sensor technology have resulted in fewer insurance claims in their respective applications. But what about technology that is becoming a hazard? Whether you own one of these vehicles or you are in the market for a new car, beware of dangerous distractions on the dashboard.
Distracting Car Technology on the Dashboard
A new study from AAA (American Automobile Association)‘s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that new vehicle infotainment systems distract drivers, diverting their eyes from the road and taking their hands off the steering wheel for potentially dangerous lengths of time. Touchscreen, voice-based features, and other interactive technologies featured in 30 new 2017 vehicles were examined, with e
ach driving participant required to perform each function.
- Making a phone call
- Text messaging
- Radio tuning
- Social media apps such as Facebook
Vehicle Infotainment Systems and Driver Distraction
All infotainment systems proved to require attention from the driver, creating visual and mental distraction beyond a low demand such as listening to the radio. Many proved to create a very high demand such as balancing a checkbook while driving. According to a new AAA public opinion survey, while only 24% of U.S. adults feel the technology works as it should, 70% said they want the new technology in their vehicle.
AAA met with some vehicle manufacturers interested in discussing these findings and how to alleviate driver distraction. Most of the systems were also found to be easily made safer by following clear federal recommendations such as locking access to many features while the car is in motion.