Report: New Cars Have More Distracting Technology Than Ever Before

New-model cars are loaded with more driver distractions than ever before, including navigation systems that take an average of 40 seconds to operate for any given task, according to a study of more than two dozen 2017 vehicles.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tested the distraction factor in 30 different new car models, concluding that 23 of them had technology onboard that demanded the driver pay a high or very high level of attention to it while the car was moving.

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 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


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

Distracted driving is considered a significant reason why fatal crashes have increased. The number of deadly accidents 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.

NHTSA issued voluntary guidelines to automakers in 2012, saying they should block tasks that distract motorists from driving unless the vehicle is parked.

Distracted driving in Texas is currently characterized by limited bans on a cell phone and mobile device use by drivers, including:

Hands-free and handheld cell phone bans for bus drivers

Texting bans for bus drivers

Hands-free and handheld cell phone bans for novice drivers

Texting bans for novice drivers

All texting and hand-held cell phone use while traveling through school zones

Despite the progress accompanying bans and laws in places to safeguard against distracted driving accidents in Texas, there are still actions necessary to prevent accidents tied to distracted driving, texting and mobile device use that sparks countless accidents every year.

Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable

If you, or someone you love, have been seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by distracted driving, call our auto accident attorneys as soon as possible. A consultation is always free at The Carlson Law Firm.


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