Over the past few years, vehicles have been catching up with the latest technology. It’s now common for Buffalo residents to drive cars that come with digital devices, called infotainment systems, built into the center console.
Although these systems include helpful features, they might not be as safe as manufacturers claim. In the digital age, you may feel pressured to be “always on,” or constantly accessible through phone calls, texts and email. For this reason, texting and driving has remained a major issue on New York roadways, but infotainment systems might soon replace phones as the top cause of distracted driving.
In fact, the AAA released a report earlier this fall that links infotainment systems to high levels of distracted driving. Researchers observed 120 young adults in 30 different vehicles to see how the devices affect their concentration. The results show that all interactions with infotainment systems created a combination of visual, mental and physical distraction, which can all increase the likelihood of a crash.
With both voice commands and manual input, drivers were highly distracted while completing the following tasks:
- Changing the music
- Re-routing navigation
- Placing phone calls
- Sending texts verbally
Therefore, the AAA urges auto manufacturers to restrict certain tasks while the vehicle is in motion and advises drivers to limit use of infotainment to urgent needs. To stay safe, drivers should safely park their car before using many of these features.
This kind of multitasking can become fatal. Just because this technology is built into the vehicle does not mean that it is safe to use on the road. Distracted drivers needlessly put pedestrians and other motorists at risk for expensive damages as well as serious personal injury.