LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — “Infotainment” technology that is currently all the rage in new cars may be putting drivers in danger, according to new research.
A University of Utah researcher found drivers can be distracted for as long as 40 seconds while trying to navigate their touch-screen infotainment systems or sending a text message.
Considering that the Automobile Club of America says taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can double the risk of a crash, the study’s findings are troubling.
The knobs and buttons that were once ubiquitous in cars have given way to a touch screen that allows drivers to use social media, email, and text – but the technology can be complicated to use.
“It’s adding more and more layers of complexity and information at drivers’ fingertips without often considering whether it’s a good idea to put it at their fingertips,” University of Utah professor David Strayer said. That complexity increases the overall amount of time drivers spend trying to use the systems.
Programming a destination into in-vehicle GPS navigation systems was the most distracting activity, taking drivers an average of 40 seconds to complete the task. At 25 mph, a car can travel the length of four football fields during the time it takes to enter a destination.
Some automakers have already disabled certain infotainment features when the vehicle is in drive.
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