Danger behind the wheel: High tech distractions

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say they want the new technologies in their vehicles

(NBC News) Technology options on many new cars can be overwhelming, and sophisticated infotainment systems also create increased distractions for drivers, according to a new study.

“We’re making what were simple interactions complex,” says Dr. David Strayer.

Strayer and his team of researchers at the University of Utah were commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to examine the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in dozens of 2017 vehicles.

“The workload associated with these new systems is very high,” Dr. Strayer says.

The study found drivers using voice-based and touch screen features were distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks such sending a text or programming navigation.

“The surprise here is that these are technologies built and marketed as making us safe and less distracted behind the wheel,” notes Jake Nelson, AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety and Research.

Of the 30 systems tested, 23 were considered high or very high demand on drivers.

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