Study: Technology in cars worsens distracted driving - WNEM TV 5

Study: Technology in cars worsens distracted driving

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

They are meant to help make drivers less distracted, but a new study finds the infotainment systems in cars make the roads more dangerous.

The systems for texting, calling and adjusting the radio may make you more likely to get in a crash.

The latest AAA study finds the technology may be too advanced, leaving drivers distracted while they sort through settings and options.

"Makes me shake my head because you know it's dangerous, why do it," said Alissa Schley, driver.

She vows to never drive distracted, even with all the bells and whistles that come with her new car.

Schley said she knows everyone isn't always keeping their eyes on the road.

"I just had a coworker not too long ago, she got hit by a teenager because they were texting on their phone," Schley said.

AAA just released its latest research on distracted driving saying new vehicle infotainment systems, such as GPS or satellite radio, create increased distractions.

"No, I don't like it whatsoever," said Curtis Baston, driver.

Baston said he is old school. He doesn't think all the new technology in cars is necessary.

"When you're looking down trying to do that, how can you do that instead of you paying attention to the road," Baston said.

A spokesperson for AAA said if the study, which is designed to raise awareness about distracted driving, can save even one motorist's life it's worth it.

"The implications of anyone losing their loved ones to an auto accident are just devastating," said Denise Sokolowski, spokesperson for AAA.

She said listening to the radio, changing radio stations, calling or texting on the phone are all forms of distraction. There is one feature that poses a more serious threat - the app designed to help you get where you need to go.

"Set their navigation system ahead of time before they take off from their driveway or the parking lot or wherever. And have it all set and ready to go so that you're not trying to program it while you're driving," Sokolowski said.

She said trying to set your navigation system creates a very high distraction if your driving. She urges all drivers not to do it while their vehicle is in motion.

That's a tip Schley takes to heart for her safety and everyone else around her.

"I know it's dangerous," Schley said.

Some automakers have settings which remove or lock some of the most distracting features when a vehicle is in motion.

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