Texting and talking on the phone may not be the only causes of distracted driving accidents. Technology built into cars by manufacturers may ironically be just as dangerous. Advanced technology has added special safety features to many cars. However, that may be more than offset by infotainment systems, according to new research.
A new report from AAA says:
New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences.
The organization said the results of the work might get car companies to rethink how they build technology into cars. And that should not be surprising given that some of this technology can be extremely dangerous, particularly putting data into navigation systems.
The AAA called out 30 vehicles in which technology can be particularly dangerous. Many of these are made by mainstream manufacturers Ford, Toyota, Honda and Fiat Chrysler.
The manufacturers of these vehicles face a difficult decision. 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.