Over the last several years, more and more new vehicles have been rolling out of the manufacturing plans equipped with technologies and features geared toward enhancing a driver’s enjoyment, communication or navigational experience. Often referred to as infotainment systems, these features are commonly installed in the vehicle’s dashboard where radios have historically sat. They may be operable by touch or by voice and allow drivers to perform an array of functions from programming an address to get real-time driving directions, make or receive phone calls, listen to music, or even send and receive text messages while driving.
Research shows, however, that just because these features are built into vehicles and their use is considered to be legal, unlike the handheld use of a cell phone alone, does not mean that using these features while driving is actually safe. In fact, the research shows that using these vehicles while driving is exceptionally dangerous.
CBS News explains that in-vehicle information and entertainment systems pose serious risks to all drivers, but especially to those drivers over 55 years of age. A two-second distraction increases a driver’s risk of a crash by two-fold. Study participants over 55 took as much as eight seconds longer than younger drivers to complete some task.