Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features experienced very high levels of visual and mental demand for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message.
"Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but numerous features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers", said Marshall Doney, President of the AAA. A vehicle going 25 miles per hour can travel the length of four football fields in that time. None of the vehicle systems tested were categorizes as low demand, seven of the systems produced moderate demand, 11 systems commandeered high demand and 12 systems very high demand.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says Delaware State Police reported nearly 6,100 crashes past year in which driver inattention, distraction, or fatigue was a contributing factor. Marshall Doney, it's President and CEO, told CNBC: "Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but numerous features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers". The researchers also concluded that frustration from trying to use hard systems leads to even more driver distraction.
But with Strayer's research, it seems that the argument is focusing on the dangers that complicated technology and their interfaces, present inside a vehicle.
What is most distracting operation to perform behind the wheel?
Drivers looked away from the road less when using voice commands, but that safety benefit was offset by the increased amount of time drivers spent interacting with the systems. It also says drivers should only use distracting technologies when its urgent to do so and should not automatically assume that a technology built into a auto is safe to use while driving. In 2015, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded that 3,477 people were killed and around 391,000 were injured in motor vehicles because of distracted drivers.
For now, AAA believes the best solution is for automakers to lock drivers out of certain especially distracting features while their cars are moving.
AAA president and CEO Marshall Doney said, "Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio".
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.