Is Distracted Driving Getting Worse?

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The study also found that using voice commands is more demanding than using the touch screen and buttons on a dashboard.

Drivers using voice-based and touchscreen technology experienced very high levels of visual and mental demands for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Hopefully this study helps us all get on the Road to Zero and commit to keeping each other safe.

Strayer recognizes that it will be hard to challenge the tide of touchscreens and features manufacturers are putting in cars, but wants this research to benefit people shopping for cars.

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New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers' eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially unsafe periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Clearly automakers haven't worked hard enough to make the systems quick and easy to use, Nelson said.

Of the 30 vehicle systems AAA studied, 23 required high or very high demand on drivers to operate. Seven were rated "moderate". "The researchers have found that all models were at least 'moderately distracting" because of the opportunities provided to the driver in the cabin. A auto going 25 miles per hour can travel the length of four football fields in that time. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. 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. The study points out that it can take around 40 seconds to program a car's navigation system.

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For now, AAA believes the best solution is for automakers to lock drivers out of certain especially distracting features while their cars are moving. Some drivers were distracted for almost 40 seconds while programming navigation. "Just because you don't have that phone in your hand, does not mean your any safer", Goodman said.

Almost 70 percent of USA adults say they want the new technologies in their vehicles, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly, according to an opinion survey conducted for AAA.

Previous AAA research indicates one in three USA adults use infotainment systems while driving.

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