When UI Design Is Dangerous: Car Technology Is Distracting Us All

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When UI Design Is Dangerous: Car Technology Is Distracting Us All

The researchers also found that 23 of the systems required high or very high attention from the drivers.

Researchers at the University of Utah commissioned by the AAA foundation for traffic safety examined the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in 30 2017 vehicles. And, the infotainment system should be designed in a way that drivers don't have to focus much on them to operate.

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers using in-vehicle technologies - like voice-activated and touch-screen features - were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds. It took drivers 40 seconds to complete the task and they were distracted from driving the whole time.

A new car's "infotainment" screen that allows you to send text messages and navigate with Global Positioning System may have been a big selling point.

Marshall Doney, AAA's President and CEO said, "Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use", but several features in the infotainment system can be complex and frustrate the driver. The drivers were between 21 and 36 years old. Worse: they tend to distract the driver.

Even hands-free technology, which is meant to be safer, can create mental and visual distractions for the driver, the study found. Some drivers were distracted for almost 40 seconds while programming navigation.

But with Strayer's research, it seems that the argument is focusing on the dangers that complicated technology and their interfaces, present inside a vehicle. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a set of voluntary safety guidelines advising automakers to block access to tasks when vehicles are not parked.

Some automakers have already disabled certain infotainment features when the vehicle is in drive.

"We're putting more and more technology in the vehicle that just does not mix with driving", Strayer said.

NY state's Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, told the Associated Press in July that the state is testing technology that will allow police to identify drivers who are texting and driving.

Almost 70 percent of US adults say they want the new technologies in their vehicles, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly, according to an opinion survey conducted for AAA.

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