When car shopping, many parents of recently licensed drivers are amazed at the technologies new cars are equipped with, most of which advertise a more safe, less distracted driver experience. But these technologies, like hands-free and voice command features, can actually do the opposite: contribute to a less safe, more distracting experience.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that these vehicle infotainment systems, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, can “make placing a phone call or programming audio entertainment more complicated by requiring drivers to maneuver through complex menu systems using touch screens or voice commands rather than use of simple knobs or buttons” (AAA). When evaluating the demand placed on the driver of 40 of these systems, AAA found that “17 systems generated very high demand, 12 systems generated high demand, and 11 systems generated moderate demand” (AAA). Meanwhile, AAA “recommends that industry strive to design in-vehicle technology systems that do not exceed a low level of demand” (AAA), a limit clearly inconsistent with the evaluated systems.
Safe2Save is proud to be an organization that combats distracted driving, but even the Safe2Save app can be unsafe if interacted with when driving. Integral to Safe2Save’s mission’s success is the user’s proper use of its technology, thus the opening and situating of apps like Safe2Save should be done before a car is in drive.
Parents of new drivers should encourage their kids to form good habits from the beginning, whether that be abstaining from using “safe” features of their new car until they can assess each feature’s distraction level, or programming their navigation, turning on music, and opening apps like Safe2Save before they drive.
References: “Distracted Driving” (https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/distracted-driving/#.W1_IldhKh-V)