October 5, 2017; The National Safety Council applauds the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on its new research highlighting the correlation between distraction and new vehicle infotainment systems.
The study, which was conducted for the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit organization in Heathrow, Fla., reviewed found in-vehicle information systems in 30 different 2017 vehicles. They also tested how long it takes drivers to complete tasks like calling someone, sending a text, and programming navigation while driving.
Some had navigation services that were so hard to use that a auto driving at 25 miles per hour would cover the length of four football pitches by the time the driver had entered a destination.
Researchers said that most infotainment systems tested could be made safer by following federal recommendations such as locking out text, social media, and navigation inputs while the vehicle is in motion. AAA found that a dozen of the 30 vehicles tested had systems that required high demand from drivers. "When in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete".
AAA says they're sharing the results of their research with automakers, but they're also warning drivers that just because certain technology is available while driving doesn't mean it's safe to use when behind the wheel and they should act responsibly. The drivers were between 21 and 36 years old.
"What we're seeing is that many of these companies have enabled technology that's very demanding and not consistent with the NHTSA guidelines".
What is most distracting operation to perform behind the wheel? If you find using the infotainment system in your vehicle is distracting, resist the temptation to use it.
A warning is out about the new high-tech gadgets in the cars we drive. Other than saying they should instead use their phone, one solution might be to have such touchscreen functions disabled while in motion unless the vehicle senses two hands on the steering wheel.