As per the new AAA study, the latest and interactive infotainment systems are proving on to be a major source of distraction to the drivers. It is the complex infotainment systems, which are making the drivers, take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.
Drivers who are using these multi-functional vehicle technologies like the voice command, touch screen infotainment systems are distracted both visually as well as mentally.
Automakers are now introducing more features in the vehicle’s infotainment systems like linking social media to it. This allows the driver to use social media, email and text while driving. These so called features are increasing complexity of the system and are not at all safe for us. Removing the eyes from the road while driving even for 2 seconds doubles the risk of crash and the study shows that drivers get usually engaged for a minimum of 10-15 seconds while using the complex infotainment systems to get desired output.
“Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA foundation for traffic safety.
In contrary to this, many car manufacturers say that the infotainment systems have been introduced with inbuilt navigation and Bluetooth enabled control so that people do not use their phones while driving to use navigation.
To this the AAA foundations say that the in-vehicle technologies are still not properly designed as the infotainment systems should be simple and easy to use whereas in the new vehicles they are far more complex and thus requires more efforts and time form the drivers to complete even a small task.
Certain tests showed that programming the navigation on the infotainment systems was the most distracting task for the drivers. The results showed that it takes at least 40 seconds to program the navigation that means for 40 seconds the attention would be off the road. Moreover the results showed that 90% of the drivers engage in this task while driving, whereas they should rather start their journey after programming the navigation.
There were some guidelines given by the AAA foundation, one of them was that the automakers should lock out the ability to program navigation while the car is on the move. Also automakers should lock out the option of texting while driving as well because texting while driving is also a major source of distraction.
Driver distraction is a huge issue to consider, the report and study by the AAA is very useful and is on time, now the automakers have to work hard enough to develop better infotainment systems which are easy to use, requires less attention, more responsive, less complex, user friendly yet practical.
The basic in-vehicle technologies are necessity for drivers, automakers should not try to make it complex by adding new features every time that are making the necessity a distraction and unsafe for drivers.