Which cars are most distracting? AAA study reveals offenders – USA TODAY
Texting isn’t the only problem while driving. The most dangerous distraction comes within the car!
Touchscreen systems in many new vehicles are too distracting, putting motorists at risk of crashes, according to a new study funded by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Utah, tested 30 vehicle infotainment systems and found that all of them are distracting to some degree.
Distracted driving is considered a major reason why fatal crashes have increased. The number of deadly crashes involving distracted driving jumped 8.8% to 3,477 in 2015, the latest year in which statistics were available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In AAA’s study, distraction was “very high” on 12 of systems, “high” on 11 and “moderate” on seven. None of the systems generated “low” distraction, according to the researchers.
Infotainment systems typically provide directions, music, phone capability and radio, among other options.
Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research at AAA, said automakers should improve their systems by preventing people from accessing certain features while the vehicle is in motion.
A new study reveals the real cause of distracted driving. Veuer’s Nick Cardona (@nickcardona93) has that story.
“These are solvable problems,” Nelson said in a statement.
For example, 12 of the 30 vehicles allowed drivers to program directions while operating the car. That takes an average of 40 seconds, which means that drivers travel the length of four football fields when going 25 miles per hour.
The study involved 120 drivers ages 21-36 testing 2017 model-year vehicles.
The most distracting infotainment systems, ranked as “very high,” were in the following vehicles:
- Audi Q7 QPP
- Chrysler 300 C
- Dodge Durango GT
- Ford Mustang GT
- GMC Yukon SLT
- Honda Civic Touring
- Honda Ridgeline RTL-E
- Mazda3 Touring
- Nissan Armada SV
- Subaru Crosstrek Premium
- Tesla Model S
- Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription
The second most distracting systems, ranked in the “high” category, were in the following vehicles:
- Cadillac XT5 Luxury
- Chevrolet Traverse LT
- Dodge Ram 1500
- Ford Fusion Titanium
- Hyundai Sonata Base
- Infiniti Q50 Premium
- Jeep Compass Sport
- Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
- Kia Sorento LX
- Nissan Maxima SV
- Toyota Rav 4 XLE
The third most distracting systems, ranked in the “moderate” category,” were in the following models:
- Chevrolet Equinox LT
- Ford F250 XLT
- Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
- Lincoln MKC Premiere
- Toyota Camry SE
- Toyota Corolla SE
- Toyota Sienna XLE
Teenagers are more likely to get in car accidents during the summer, and the number of deaths that occur in conjunction with teen-related car accidents increases to 10 per day.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.