Music and the technology used to play it has changed over the years. Yet, not all change is an improvement, as parents across the country point out when objecting to their children’s musical tastes. Modern cars come with increasingly sophisticated entertainment systems built in. Manufacturers boast they allow you to play music, find your way, chat with your friends and more. The drive for convenience and integration comes at a considerable cost to safety.
New in-car entertainment systems require too much of a driver’s attention
Distracted driving is a major problem on our roads. Advances in technology that are supposed to help are adding to that risk.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety looked at in-car entertainment systems installed into new cars during 2017 and 2018. They measured how demanding using these systems was on a drivers’ visual and cognitive attention. The study found:
- 42% were very highly demanding
- 30% were highly demanding
- 28% were moderately demanding
This is worrying considering the foundation recommends a system should never make more than a low demand on a driver’s attention.
Drivers need to concentrate on driving
To drive well, a person needs to give their full attention to the road. In-car technology that allows people to do other things encourages them to divert their attention from the road. It increases the chance they cause an accident and injure you. Maybe it is time to dig out your box of cassettes and install your old car cassette player. One push of the button was all it took to keep you entertained for an hour or more — no messages, no phone calls, just music. It allowed you to concentrate on driving.