AAA Report: Your own car might be dangerously distracting

Cell phones aren't only distracting tech on road
Posted at 3:28 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 18:36:31-04

TAMPA — Mobile devices aren't the only things causing distracted driving.

Your own car might be part of the problem.

A recent AAA study of 30 late-model vehicles found some are dangerously demanding of your attention. 

Of all the technology built into new vehicles these days, the study found that in-car navigation systems are the most distracting technology, even more than in-car texting or calling.

Of the 30 vehicles, which included "luxury" brands like Audi and Lincoln, and other brands like Nissan and Toyota, a total of 23 of the vehicles "generated high or very high levels of demand on driver attention."

The study focused specifically on the "infotainment" systems, and how they affected driver's visual focus (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task, says the AAA report.

"Study participants were required to use voice commands, touch screens and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road," says AAA.

Even some car brands known for safety, like Volvo, were criticized for having infotainment systems that required a lot of driver attention, like navigating and making phone calls.

On the other hand, the Toyota Camry SE was deemed only a "moderate" demand on driver attention to make phone calls, send texts, and tune the audio system while on the road.

"The good thing is you can't mess with the navigation too much while driving. It won't allow you," says Terry Matlock of Oldsmar about his new Lincoln.

That feature is one that AAA highly recommends more manufacturers adopt.

To see the list of vehicles studies and how they were judged by AAA and researchers at the University of Utah, click HERE.