Is Your Car's Technology Driving You to Distraction?

Is Your Car's Technology Driving You to Distraction?

Is Your Car's Technology Driving You to Distraction?

The researchers also found surprisingly large differences between vehicles as far as workload required to operate the systems.

M - Much of the conversation around distracted driving has centered on mobile devices, but a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that in-car infotainment systems are also a culprit. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features experienced very high levels of visual and mental demand for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message.

The research project was completed in partnership with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and found that even the most common touchscreen tasks distracted drivers for more than 24 seconds. Generally the more expensive cars came off worse than more economical models, although the Mazda 3 and Subarus placed very high demands on drivers. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested. The researchers also concluded that frustration from trying to use hard systems leads to even more driver distraction.

Hands-free technology doesn't mean risk free.

Apple's Siri technology is considered among the most distracting among the user technologies in vehicles, according to the study.

In that time, driving at only 25 miles an hour, a vehicle travels the length of about four football fields.

The knobs and buttons that were once ubiquitous in cars have given way to a touch screen that allows drivers to use social media, email, and text - but the technology can be complicated to use.

Previous AAA research indicates one in three USA adults use infotainment systems while driving.

AAA just released its latest research on distracted driving saying new vehicle infotainment systems, such as GPS or satellite radio, create increased distractions.

The problem is those guidelines have not kept pace with technology, says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports.

Psychology professor David Strayer, who led the research, said: 'We're putting more and more technology in the auto that just does not mix with driving.

She said listening to the radio, changing radio stations, calling or texting on the phone are all forms of distraction.

AAA conducted a new study that says technology built into the dashboard is becoming a major distraction.

The AAA reached out to automobile makers and their suppliers to discuss the findings of the study.

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