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Older Drivers Distracted by In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems Says AAA

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In-vehicle infotainment systems are designed for a more entertaining, connected, and responsive driving experience. But, with all their bells and whistles, in-vehicle infotainment systems can be a dangerous distraction for drivers, especially older drivers.

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According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah, older drivers are taking more time — approximately eight seconds longer — than drivers between the ages of 21 and 36, to manipulate the system. Eight seconds may not sound like a long period of time, but AAA reports drivers double their chance of getting into an accident or crash after two seconds of not looking at the road.

“Voice-command functions found in new in-vehicle technology are intended to help drivers by keeping their eyes and attention on the road,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Unfortunately, the complexity and poor design of some of these systems could cause more harm for older drivers, in particular, instead of helping them.”

In-vehicle infotainment systems, which control text messaging, audio selections, phone connections, and navigational routes, have the potential to make driving for all drivers — young and old — a fun, safe, and less stressful experience, but the complicated design definitely needs some tweaking before they live up to expectations.

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“This is a design problem, not an age problem,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “Designing systems to meet the safety and comfort needs of aging drivers would benefit all of us today, and for years to come.”

News Source: AAA