Phones Aren't the Only Things Distracting Drivers

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

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety worked with researchers at the University of Utah to measure the visual and mental demand of completing a task in 30 different 2017 model-year vehicles, as well as how much time it took. However, that may be more than offset by infotainment systems, according to new research.

The study showed that drivers who used voice commands and touch screens to program Global Positioning System were distracted for an average of 40 seconds, while talk-to-texting tasks took about 30 seconds. AAA researchers said that at 25 miles per hour, a person could cover the length of four football fields in 40 seconds. The study points out that it can take around 40 seconds to program a car's navigation system.

None of the 30 vehicles tested places a low demand on the driver's attention, while only seven vehicles systems cause a moderate demand. Armed with touchscreen and voice-based technologies, researchers pegged the Audi Q7 as having a "very high" level of distraction. The research consisted of 120 drivers between the ages of 21 and 36. Hopefully this study helps us all get on the Road to Zero and commit to keeping each other safe.

The technology in our vehicles today makes it easier than ever to be constantly connected.

Creature comforts inside automobiles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with a larger emphasis placed on the infotainment system.

With options for sending texts, surfing the internet and checking social media in some tech packages, the risks only go up from there.

In the past, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has suggested that auto companies make some of the new infotainment technology only functional when a vehicle is in park. Automakers should also design infotainment systems so that they require no more attention to use than listening to the radio or an audiobook, it said. This block is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but is merely part of voluntary guidelines. "Just because you don't have that phone in your hand, does not mean your any safer", Goodman said.

NY state's Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, told the Associated Press in July that the state is testing technology that will allow police to identify drivers who are texting and driving.

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