Infotainment Systems on Par With Cell Phones for Distracted Driving

Infotainment Systems on Par With Cell Phones for Distracted Driving

Infotainment Systems on Par With Cell Phones for Distracted Driving

The vehicle-integrated systems "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", said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

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.

David Strayer, a professor at the University of Utah, said, "Some of the most advanced systems are really very hard for the driver to use".

Considering that the Automobile Club of America says taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can double the risk of a crash, the study's findings are troubling.

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.

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"You could be deemed by a police officer not to be in proper control of the vehicle, be prosecuted for unsafe driving, or worse still be responsible for taking a life". They can either keep next generation infotainment products in their cars for driver convenience or modify or eliminate the technology to make the vehicle less likely to have accidents. They measured how much drivers had to look at the screen and think about what they were doing while making a call, sending a text, or using the stereo or navigation system.

David Strayer, the lead scientist in the study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said that most of the States have a rule against texting behind the wheel, and some require hands-free cellphone use. Some vehicles now have as many as 50 buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard that are multifunctional.

Researchers found that systems that use voice commands also took the driver's attention off the road.

Researchers developed an advanced rating scale that measured both the visual and mental demand and the time it took to complete a task using each vehicle's infotainment system. Seven were rated "moderate".

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