Most people in California have been in vehicles that feature built-in systems designed to provide navigational assistance, connect to a mobile phone or provide entertainment while they drive. These are frequently referred to as infotainment systems and many new vehicles today are being driven off car lots with these embedded as standard features. They are often touted as one potential solution to the problems associated with distracted driving.
A new report based issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that these infotainment systems may actually be contributing to risks associated with distracted driving rather than solving or reducing them. When a person takes their eyes off the road for two seconds, their chance of getting in an accident increases by 100%.
As explained by CBS News, a study conducted jointly by the University of Utah and the AAA FTS compared the time it took people to interact with infotainment systems based on their age groups. They specifically compared millennials with those 55 and older. The latter group was found to take as many as eight seconds longer to do things like make a phone call or program a navigation system than did the younger drivers.
Millennials are often described as digital natives, people who grew up with digital technology as children. This may help them use such features more easily. With more and more drivers hitting their 50s and 60s as the baby boomer generation ages, there could be significant risks associated with an increase in the use of infotainment systems in new cars.