Infotainment systems safety guide

May 16, 2015

erin_doan_agency 031514Good Neighbor Tips from Erin Doan, State Farm Insurance, Scottville,

With GPS, backup cameras, streaming music, Bluetooth connection and a personal concierge, auto infotainment systems have added a lot to the commute. Designed to make the drive easier, infotainment systems are also touted as safer to use, thanks to their hands-free and voice recognition capabilities.

But “hands-free” does not equal risk-free. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), infotainment systems can distract drivers in multiple ways and cause:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Missed visual cues
  • Suppressed brain activity in the area used for safe driving
  • Less visual scanning of the environment

In driving simulations, these distractions caused rear-end collisions. On the road, more than 1,100 people are injured every day in distracted driving accidents.

What Drivers Can Do

If you have or are considering a car with an infotainment system, these guidelines can decrease distractions and increase safety.

Consider ease of use. If you’re purchasing a car, research and compare infotainment systems to find the safer options. After your purchase, practice using the infotainment system before you hit the road.

Stick to short commands. Using an infotainment system can be as mentally demanding as solving a math problem. Therefore, stick to simple, passive activities. Having texts read to you, for example, is less distracting than using the talk-to-text function.

Turn it off. If you’re distracted by your infotainment system, switch it off. Then make it a point to use the infotainment system only when you’re parked somewhere safe.

See more here.