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AAA says infotainment systems have no place in cars

Residents of California who are shopping for a new car might be interested in new technology that can make cars safer and more convenient. Yet, some new car technology could actually be making driving more dangerous, according to a study conducted for the AAA. Infotainment systems that allow drivers to multitask while driving right from the dashboard are a distraction, AAA says, and that can increase the likelihood of car accidents.

Researchers from the University of Utah conducted the study, which examined 30 systems in 2017 model vehicles. Visual and cognitive demand the systems required was broken down by levels ranging from low to very high. None of the systems required low demand, seven required moderate demand 11 required high demand and 12 required very high demand.

The most distracting task on dashboard systems is GPS, according to the study. Texting came in second, followed by radio tuning and dialing a phone call. Listening to radio came in at a low level of demand.

A co-author of the study criticized car manufacturers for giving cars technology that has nothing to do with driving. He states that even hands-free tasks that involve speaking can cause drivers to be distracted and fail to see things that are in front of them. The president and CEO of AAA agrees, and he says that automakers should not be designing car technology that requires more demand on the attention of a driver than listening to music.

Distracted driving can cause car accidents that could leave drivers or passengers seriously injured. There are laws against distracted driving, but most of them involve the use of handheld devices. A driver who was distracted but did not break the law could still be found negligent in a personal injury case.

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