In-Car Technology Distracting To Drivers Especially Older Ones
A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in-vehicle technology creates potentially unsafe distractions for all drivers, but particularly older adults.
Researchers studied more than 100 drivers in two age groups, 21-36 and 55-75, evaluating their use of voice commands, touch screens, and other interactive technology.
“On average, older drivers removed their eyes and attention from the road for more than 8 seconds longer than younger drivers when they were performing tasks like programming navigation, texting, calling, or tuning the radio using the in-vehicle infotainment technology,” AAA Ohio Auto Club spokesperson Kimberly Schwind said. “This is especially concerning because taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your risk of crashing.”
Schwind stressed that it’s more of a design problem rather than an age issue.
“AAA is working with automakers to make sure that these systems are designed better and less complex,” Schwind said. “Specific design changes to in-vehicle infotainment systems like improving voice command technology, simplifying software menus, removing complex center console controls, and positioning systems to allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road are going to better meet the needs of older drivers and make the system safer for all drivers.”
Acording to estimates, more than one in five drivers will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030. The auto club cautioned all drivers that just because the technology exists in modern vehicles doesn’t mean it’s safe to use while driving. AAA partnered with the University of Utah on the study.