Is the Technology in New Cars Simply Distracting?

A decade or two ago, there was limited technology within most vehicles. Most cars, trucks, and SUVs had digital clocks, a radio, and, if you were lucky, a CD player. However, in recent years, vehicle manufacturers have started to include a tremendous amount of technology into cars.

While some car technology features are certainly beneficial, some technology could be simply serving as a distraction.

Most standard cars now include navigation systems, infotainment systems, Bluetooth capabilities, dashboard touchscreens, and much more. However, with the right amount of money, you can get your car equipped with a whole slew of technology features.

Many are worried that the additional technology in cars is serving as an additional distraction. Researchers at the University of Utah attempted to prove this by conducting a study along with the AAA Foundation in an effort to show just how distracting the various screens in a vehicle can be. The study found that, on average, drivers were distracted by the most basic of touchscreen tasks for more than 24 seconds. When you consider that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that being distracted for just two seconds of time can double your risk of being involved in an accident, you can see how dangerous technology in vehicles could potentially be.

It’s not just screens causing issues, either. If you look at the average steering wheel in a 2018 vehicle, you will likely find more than a dozen multifunction buttons. These buttons control everything from the cruise control to the volume of the radio. While it might be nice to have all of these buttons at your disposal, they give you much more to think about when you’re driving. Given that the buttons are not fully standardized as to position and function, they could even prevent you from keeping an eye on the only thing you really need to be paying attention to — the road. The University of Utah researchers have advised people to make every effort to limit distractions in their vehicles, even though it can be tempting to give in to them while driving.

At 4N6XPRT Systems, we understand the importance of vehicle safety. We’ve spent more than 20 years developing powerful accident reconstruction software tools like 4N6XPRT StifCalcs to help attorneys, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies establish fault in car accidents.