Complicated 'infotainment' vehicle increasing risk of road deaths

Complicated 'infotainment' vehicle increasing risk of road deaths

"Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but numerous features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers", said Marshall Doney, President of the AAA.

Jake Nelson, AAA's director of traffic safety advocacy and research, said that in all the 30 models of 2017 that were tested, the drivers took their hands and eyes off the steering while using the infotainment system.

The guidelines also recommend automakers prevent drivers from texting while driving, but three-quarters of the vehicles tested permit drivers to text while the auto is moving.

Subaru's infotainment system uses a 6.2-inch touchscreen, though there's also a 7-inch, which still requires the driver to look away from the road.

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With options for sending texts, surfing the internet and checking social media in some tech packages, the risks only go up from there. A new study now shows that vehicles themselves can be a distraction.

According to AAA, looking away from the road for even two seconds doubles the likelihood of a crash.

The study done by AAA finds that technology built into the dashboards of many cars is taking drivers' eyes and attention off the road and their hands off the wheel for potentially risky periods of time.

When driving at 25 miles per hour, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the time it could take to enter a destination in navigation. However, the Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Santa Fe, Lincoln MKC, Ford F250 XLT and Toyota's Camry, Corolla and Sienna require only "moderate" driver demand. Deaths involving distracted driving jumped 8.8% to 3,477 in 2015, the latest year in which statistics were available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They can either keep next generation infotainment products in their cars for driver convenience or modify or eliminate the technology to make the vehicle less likely to have accidents.

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