New technology in vehicles added distraction for drivers according to AAA

New technology in vehicles added distraction for drivers according to AAA

Hands-free voice command and infotainment in your vehicle could still be more distracting than you think this according to AAA.

In a new study, the experts said there’s too much going on with this added technology available for drivers.

AAA’s president and CEO Marshall Doney said, “Some of the latest systems on the market now include functions unrelated to the core task of driving like sending text messages, checking social media or surfing the web, tasks we have no business doing behind the wheel. Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook. And drivers should avoid the temptation to engage with these technologies, especially for non-driving tasks.”

Some local drivers agree and said their vehicles don’t have this technology for that reason, but if they do they don’t use it and keep it out school to avoid distractions.

“In my car, I just have the basic stereo system and Bluetooth, which I don't use. I’m not savvy on all this new technology and don’t need it. I think it is making them less safe (because) we're just becoming so dependent and not paying attention and being distracted from our driving,” said Alan Ray.

Another driver in west El Paso, Navil Shaheen, said while he uses some of the technology like Bluetooth, he won’t do it while he’s driving.

"When I'm driving if I have to answer somebody I have to stop," he said.

Unfortunately, many drivers don't feel the same way or exercise the same caution.

With the evolution of cell phones and dependence on technology, it’s made distracted driving the leading cause in deadly crashes or injuries, especially for teen drivers this according to AAA.

And in a new study, the experts said there's a new factor adding distraction infotainment

The results of this recent study had drivers try to make a call, send a text, change the radio or program navigation in 30 different vehicles while on the road driving 25 mph.

Researchers found that drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of 40 seconds, keeping this in mind they’ve found that taking your eyes off the road for even just two seconds doubles your risk of a crash-- thus proving again how dangerous any distraction behind the wheel can be.

AAA said they’re sharing this recent study with automakers to help make infotainment safer and less distracting. They said these systems should show be “no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook.”

A local Chevrolet spokesman who told KFOX14 as infotainments evolve safety is always a priority and has to keep up with the evolution of technology.

“We have a lot more customers that are bringing the technology in as opposed to the technology being already inside. The infotainment mimics everything that is available on phones and iPads now, but there (are) certain features in the vehicle that are disabled while you're driving so you're not trying to type put in a navigation destination. Otherwise, while you're driving you can use voice command, you can set navigation destinations, set radio stations, make phone calls and send text messages -- we also have Siri command,” said Omar Avendano, local Chevrolet spokesman.

As for teen drivers, some systems allow parents to lock some of this technology while they drive and even track how they're doing behind the wheel.

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