Our cars these days are filled to the brim with technology. Some of them, such as the active driver’s assistance systems, are designed to keep us safer on the roads. However, some of these technology features might actually make us worse drivers.
A new research by IAM Roadsmart, a UK-based independent road-safety charity formed in 1956, shows that the use of in-car infotainment systems – specifically Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can impair driving to potentially dangerous levels.
The research – undertaken by TRL, the FIA and the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund – shows that the use of these infotainment systems can increase reaction times by up to 57% during music selection via touch, and up to 30% during navigation when controlled via voice command.
For comparison, a person driving at the drink-driving limit will have their reaction times increased by approximately 12%. Texting while driving saw an increase of 35%, while hand-held phone calls increases reaction time by up to 46%.
The study also found that participants looked away from the road for 11-13 seconds on average to perform a task on these systems. Participants in the study also significantly underestimated their time looking away from the road by as much as five seconds.
With more and more cars being equipped with these modern infotainment features, it is a legitimate cause for concern on the topic of road safety. While it may provide convenience to the drivers, it might be a better idea to set up your navigation and music before getting onto the open roads.