AAA: Cars that make driving unsafe

AAA: Cars that make driving unsafe

Numerous infotainment features in most 2017 vehicles are so distracting they should not be enabled while a vehicle is in motion, according to a new study released Thursday by University of Utah researchers. "The researchers have found that all models were at least 'moderately distracting" because of the opportunities provided to the driver in the cabin.

In the study, which evaluated 30 new 2017 vehicles, drivers used voice command, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving. When driving at 25 miles per hour, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the same amount of time. AAA found that a dozen of the 30 vehicles tested had systems that required high demand from drivers. According to the study, already criticized by the manufacturers, they would, on the contrary, a high driver distraction.

Marshall Doney, AAA's President and CEO said, "Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use", but several features in the infotainment system can be complex and frustrate the driver. "And drivers should avoid the temptation to engage with these technologies, especially for non-driving tasks". AAA believes a safe in-vehicle technology system should not exceed a low level of demand. Worse, programming navigation took an average of 40 seconds to complete.

The study examined not only visual (eyes-off-road), cognitive (mental) demand, but also accounted for how long it took drivers to complete tasks using vehicle technology.

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With options for sending texts, surfing the internet and checking social media in some tech packages, the risks only go up from there. This block is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but is merely part of voluntary guidelines.

For more about distracted driving, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Automakers should also design infotainment systems so that they require no more attention to use than listening to the radio or an audiobook, it said. Other than saying they should instead use their phone, one solution might be to have such touchscreen functions disabled while in motion unless the auto senses two hands on the steering wheel.

The rise of "infotainment" #Technology in cars has caused a professor to raise concern about the distraction the newest cars are providing for drivers.

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