Does A New Study Prove Infotainment Systems Can Cause Distracted Driving?

Photo of a woman driver using her cell phone in carLast week, we discussed how smart cars could prevent distracted driving. Now we want to discuss a distracted driving danger that most drivers don’t even think about—their car’s infotainment center. How are infotainment systems causing distracted driving? A researcher from the University of Utah has spent four years trying to figure that out.

Why Do Car Infotainment Systems Cause Distracted Driving?

On October 5th, AAA released a study it started back in 2013. It looked at how infotainment systems impact drivers on the open road, and what it discovered was not good news.

Led by University of Utah professor David Strayer, researchers found that infotainment centers can significantly contribute to distracted driving. When rating the systems in 2017 model year automobiles for their ability to demand driver attention, researchers found that 23 out of 30 vehicles rated high to very high.

With numerous multi-functional buttons spread all over dashboards and steering wheels, researchers found that many of these infotainment systems were just too complicated to be used easily. Among the study’s test drivers, programming a destination into a GPS system was the most distracting activity. It took on average 40 seconds to complete this task. If you’re travelling at 25 mph, you can cross four football fields in that amount of time. Sending a text through the infotainment system was the second most distracting activity. Even using voice commands proved too big a distraction, as complicated menus frustrated drivers and took their attention off the road.

The motor vehicle accident lawyers at Keefe Law Firm have seen many distracted driving cases here in New Jersey. These crashes can involve cellphones, unruly passengers, makeup or even troublesome infotainment systems, but no matter the cause, these incidents can cost lives. Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention, otherwise they can endanger themselves, passengers and other people sharing the road. Hold them to that responsibility, even if you have to contact a law firm to do it.

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