Many vehicle infotainment systems in late model cars create potentially unsafe levels of distraction by allowing drivers to perform complex tasks while driving.
What is Vehicle Infotainment Technology?
Vehicle infotainment technology is standard on new and late-model vehicles. This type of built-in technology is designed by automakers and comes standard with a dashboard navigation system that lets drivers perform various tasks while driving. By tapping icons on a screen, drivers can navigate locations, send an email or text, make a phone call, change radio stations, and get driving directions to specific destinations.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), infotainment technology is responsible for thousands of serious and deadly car accidents every year due to distracted driving. Personal injury attorneys see a high rate of car accidents that occur when drivers take their eyes off the road. According to NHTSA, drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds double their risk of a car crash.
New technology systems, like Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, are proving to be much safer than older infotainment systems because they create fewer driver distractions. With smartphone-based software, these systems provide faster speeds for performing tasks. CarPlay and Android Auto were 31% (15 seconds) faster when programming navigation and 24% (5 seconds) faster when sending texts and making calls.
Safety experts used a rating scale to measure distraction times for drivers using CarPlay and Android Auto. Researchers looked at times for visual demands (eyes off the road), cognitive demands (mental impairments), and the time it took drivers to complete tasks. CarPlay and Android Auto both generated a moderate level of driver demands, while older technology systems generated very high levels. NHTSA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety both recommend low levels of driver demands.
AAA cautions that the overall performance of CarPlay and Android Auto may vary significantly in vehicle models due to different system features installed in vehicles. Although advances in in-vehicle technology systems are focused on increased driving safety, car accidents are still a leading cause of injuries, disabilities, and deaths seen by personal injury attorneys.
Distracted driving is responsible for more than 390,000 injuries and 3,500 fatalities every year. While vehicle technology systems provide convenient features, drivers must stay focused on the road while behind the wheel to ensure maximum safety. A vehicle traveling at 25 mph can travel the length of three football fields in just 33 seconds.