Residents in Southern California often spend a lot of time in their vehicles, especially as public transportation in the region is not as prevalent as in other parts of the country like New York or even the Bay Area. It is logical, then, that drivers may want to make use of their time in their cars and today's smartphones make that possible. While distracted driving awareness has grown and laws have been emerging to curb this behavior, new vehicle technologies have come on the market to try and help the situation.
According to Automotive IQ, the very features intended to counteract distracted driving might actually be exacerbating it. This is because the integration of smartphones with vehicles only encourages people to make calls, send or receive text messages, program navigation systems and more - all while actively driving.
Distractions can be mental, visual and manual. The vehicle features may address visual or manual distractions but do not do anything to curb mental distractions.
Consumer Reports explained that a AAA survey found infotainment systems built into many modern vehicles do increase distraction among drivers. Programming a navigation system with a desired destination was found to be the single most distracting activity allowed by this technology, followed closely by texting. Interestingly, making a phone call was one of the least distracting activities despite the fact that talking on a phone while driving was one of the earliest forms of distracted driving that gained a lot of attention and was the focal point of many laws.