Infotainment Systems in Cars Can Present Big Distractions for Drivers, the AAA Foundation Says

In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems let drivers issue various voice commands to control certain features in their environments, like their music levels. Intended to promote driver safety, IVI systems have been lauded by some as being helpful in getting drivers to focus on the road, as they can issue voice commands while continuing to watch the road and monitor their driving conditions.

Two recent studies commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, however, have found that IVI systems may be far riskier to use than drivers realize. In some cases, using these systems can increase the risk of auto collisions.

Risks of IVI Systems: A Closer Look at the Researchers’ Findings

The studies in question, which were both conducted by researchers at the University of Utah, specifically analyzed drivers’ interactions with infotainment systems in various vehicles, including (but not limited to) the IVI systems in:

  • Two studies from AAA have revealed that infotainment systems in passenger cars may be incredibly distracting, a St Louis auto accident attorney explains.

    Two studies from AAA have revealed that infotainment systems in passenger cars may be incredibly distracting, a St Louis auto accident attorney explains.

    Buick Lacrosse vehicles

  • Chevrolet Equinox vehicles
  • Chevrolet Malibu vehicles
  • Chrysler 200 vehicles
  • Ford Taurus vehicles
  • Hyundai Sonata vehicles
  • Mazda6 vehicles
  • Nissan Altima vehicles
  • Toyota 4Runner SUVs
  • VW Passats.

Here is what researchers found:

  • After using IVI systems to make calls, control the radio or carry out other tasks, it can take as much as 27 seconds for motorists’ attention to fully return to the task of driving.
  • The primary reason that IVI systems present distractions is that, when these systems do not carry out drivers’ commands (either because drivers issue the wrong commands or because the system misinterprets the driver), drivers get distracted trying to figure out what went wrong and how to get the system to respond as necessary or expected.
  • It tends to take older motorists longer to fully shift their attention back to driving/the road than it does for younger drivers after using IVI systems.
  • Drivers don’t necessarily get better at using IVI systems with practice.
  • The vehicle with the most distracting IVI system for drivers was the Mazda6, as the commands drivers had to issue were confusing, leading to more complications in using these systems.
  • The vehicles with the least distracting IVI systems included the Equinox, the 4Runner and the Lacrosse.

AAA has noted that it intended to bring its findings to lawmakers’ attention and that it encourages drivers to use IVI systems with caution.

As Marshall Doney, the president and CEO of AAA, has explained, “The reality is that mental distractions persist and can affect driver attention even after the light turns green.”

Have you used IVI systems? Do you find them to be more helpful or distracting and problematic? Comment on our Facebook & Google+ pages.

Contact a St Charles & St Louis Auto Accident Attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, contact an experienced St Charles & St Louis auto accident attorney at Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC for zealous legal advocacy, support and experienced help with your financial recovery.

When you contact us, you can find out more about your legal rights and what we can do to help you. Call our firm at (636) 946-6886 or toll free at (855)772-5291. You can also email us using the contact form on this page.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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