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Researchers test infotainment systems in 10 models and find none cause a low demand on drivers.

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Infotainment Systems as Distracting as Balancing a Checkbook
Researchers test infotainment systems in 10 models and find none cause a low demand on drivers.

— According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a car infotainment system will demand the attention of a driver as much as trying to balance a checkbook while driving.

AAA researchers worked with well-known safety researchers at the University of Utah, a leader in distracted driving studies.

Ratings were determined by measuring demands that took eyes off the roads, the mental demand of using the infotainment systems and how long it took drivers to complete their tasks.

Researchers classify the infotainment systems as causing low, moderate, high and very high demands on drivers.

Out of the latest 10 vehicles tested, none of the infotainment systems cause "low" demands on drivers, equated with listening to the radio or an audiobook. But six systems create "very high" demands on drivers equal to trying to balance their checkbooks while driving.

Considering you double your risk of crashing if you take your eyes off the road for just two seconds, the infotainment results are depressing for highway safety.

Researchers learned that performing navigation tasks can take your attention away for 48 seconds. But at just 25 mph, a vehicle could travel the length of three football fields before a driver would bring their attention back to the road.

Amount of demand on a driver due to the infotainment system

Moderate

  • 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT
  • 2018 Kia Sportage LX
  • 2018 Kia Optima LX
  • 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie

High

  • 2017 Volkswagen Jetta S

Very High

  • 2018 BMW 430i xDrive Convertible
  • 2017 Buick Enclave Leather
  • 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport  HSE
  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Limited
  • 2017 Nissan Rogue SV

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