Older drivers are distracted more than 8 seconds longer than their younger counterparts when they use certain in-car infotainment systems.
But it’s not because they’re older, reports new AAA Research; it’s because the technology is hard to use and poorly designed. — an announcement from AAA Northeast
Voice commands for calling, texting, navigating, or tuning radios in one of six infotainment systems caused 55- to 75-year old drivers, on average, to divert their eyes from the road longer than 21- to-36-year old drivers, reports the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the research arm of AAA. “Voice command functions in new cars certainly have the potential to extend the mobility of older drivers,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “But poor design, complex systems and in-car position that make it difficult to easily complete simple tasks are causing more harm than good to older drivers.”
For any driver, no matter the age, taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your crash risk, she added. The research — a collaboration between the AAA Foundation and the University of Utah — found older adults, who took between 5 and 9 seconds to complete in-car tasks on these infotainment systems, experienced slower response times and more visual distractions, even though these systems created potentially unsafe distractions for all drivers.