Nav systems among infotainment distractions, AAA study finds

  • Nav systems among infotainment distractions, AAA study finds

Nav systems among infotainment distractions, AAA study finds

The study looked at what the most taxing task is while driving, what it physically and mentally takes to complete a task, and how these demands vary across vehicle systems. Features such as navigation systems were created to make driving safer and easier, but when used during driving instead of before, they can be dangerously distracting.

AAA is critical of manufacturers enabling features unrelated to the core task of driving, such as sending a text message and checking social media. While driving at the 25 miles per hour limit in the study, that would mean the vehicle travelling nearly 1 mile or 1.6 kilometers without the driver paying full attention.

The AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned the study, and they have found the results to be alarming.

Considering that the Automobile Club of America says taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can double the risk of a crash, the study's findings are troubling.

AAA also indicated that driver frustration with these infotainments systems increases cognitive demand and thus raises the potential for distracted driving. 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.

Some automakers have already disabled certain infotainment features when the vehicle is in drive.

The research project was completed in partnership with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and found that even the most common touchscreen tasks distracted drivers for more than 24 seconds.

Carmakers have been pushing the envelope year after year and with technology becoming so advanced and intuitive, it seems only natural that the way cars work and support drivers should undergo a huge change. "If GM offers it [technology] and Ford doesn't, I'm going to buy the GM". The guidelines recommend that automakers lock out the ability to program navigation systems while a vehicle is moving. None required a low amount of attention to use. That, Teater said, will trickle down to consumers.

None of the cars we tested produced low demand, according to Mosher.

The system doesn't always translate voice-to-text effectively, Mosher said. Consequently, it was found that the participants were having to erase and re-compose messages, producing a higher level of cognitive demand.

The research did not include Android voice-to-text systems. The vehicle with the most overall demand was the Mazda 3 Touring. The study was performed by researchers at the University of Utah.

'With the best intentions, we will put some technology in the vehicle that we think will make the auto safer, but people being people will use that technology in ways that we don't anticipate'.

Personal responsibility is also involved according to Jane Terry, director of government affairs at the National Safety Council, a Washington, D.C. based advocacy group. "Get your Facebook or directions in before you leave, not in the middle a trip".