Experts say the auto industry is facilitating distraction by overloading vehicles with tech
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As technologies evolve, and everything is readily available at the touch of a finger, cars are becoming more and more tech forward.
But are our cars being overloaded with this technology, to a point where it's becoming unsafe? Experts say yes.
It's easy to become momentarily distracted by the infotainment system when you're driving. Whether it's by a text coming in, trying to sort out your navi system, or simply changing the music. Becoming distracted has the potential to cause some major accidents, even if it is momentarily.
Safety experts say that the auto industry is facilitating our distraction by overloading vehicles with unnecessary and increasingly complex tech.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is currently preparing to launch a campaign warning people about distracted driving. Ian Jack, head of public affairs at the CAA, says “it’s becoming increasingly challenging for people to manage these things inside their vehicle.”
Independent studies have proven over the years that activities like eating and talking to others in the vehicle can distract drivers enough to impair their ability to recognise and respond to dangerous situations. But the CAA is particularly concerned about the distraction caused by increasingly sophisticated infotainment systems.
The issue was made prominent recently when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into Tesla, who then agreed to prevent drivers and passengers from playing video games on the dashboards.
A study conducted by the University of Utah and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that some tasks on modern infotainment systems could take more than 48 seconds. Another study, conducted by Canada’s Traffic Injury Research Foundation in 2018, claimed that that one in four fatal crashes could be linked to distracted driving, which is roughly the same as driving while impaired.
In many ways, today's vehicles are safer than ever. Most modern cars have features such as lane guidance, adaptive cruise control, speed limit recognition tech and automatic braking.
But there’s no denying that new cars give us more opportunities to become distracted.