Move Over Cellphones, Study Says Infotainment Systems in Cars Bigger Distraction
According to a new study the website motor1.com, drivers are now ending up being 'dangerously' distracted by the complicated digital infotainment systems found in most newer cars these days.
With so much attention being focused on distracted driving caused by cellphones and other handheld devices (and more states passing tougher laws), experts now say the cars themselves are proving to be just as eye-catching.
AAA and the University of Utah performed a study involving 130 drivers, who got behind the wheel of 30 newer auto models.
After using a series of cameras and verbal commands to see how closely the people were paying attention, 12 of the 30 cars were found to have demanded a 'very high' level of attention to the infotainment systems.
The study found the lowest amount of distraction came from listening to the radio or music, considered non-dangerous. The highest level of distraction involved using the navigation system. Many of the models, especially the 'Distracting 12", required the same intensity used to balance a checkbook to operate the navigation!
In fact, using the navigation in many vehicles is, according to the AAA-Utah study, more dangerous than texting or placing a handheld cellphone call.
The study says the auto industry needs to thoroughly re-examine it's methodology and layout of such digital systems, and find ways to design them to keep drivers eyes on the road.
The test subjects in the new vehicles also had a much higher rate of frustration from trying to work and master the technology, leading to even more distraction and dangerous driving.