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The impact of navigation dashboards on distracted driving

Distracted driving is more prevalent than ever now that everyone has a cellphone on them at all times. The problem may even become worse now that auto manufacturers have installed smart dashboards into many vehicles. Now people can enter directions and find music playlists from a screen on the dashboard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has had to issue a call to action for automakers to stop putting the systems in cars.

Drivers could prevent numerous car accidents every day by avoiding distractions. Part of that may rely on not investing in vehicles with these dashboard devices.

The ultimate problem

The issue with dashboard devices comes down to the fact drivers feel tempted to interact with the system while driving. A person may have an app on the dashboard to play music and want to alter the playlist while on the road. The issue becomes even worse when the system demands a high level of attention to operate effectively. This forces drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel to interact with the device because they cannot always issue voice commands. AAA conducted research to determine which vehicles had dashboard systems that required the greatest attention to detail, and they include the following:

  • Audi Q7 QPP
  • Honda Civic Touring
  • Honda Ridgeline RTL-E
  • Mazda3 Touring
  • Nissan Armada SV
  • Tesla Model S

Precautions drivers can take

Dashboard devices can be useful, but drivers need to remain cautious of how they use them. If they need to change something about their directions, then they should ask a passenger to take care of that task for them, so they can focus on the road. Drivers should also be wary of audio that comes from the system. For instance, if they constantly listen to the directions, that audio can mentally distract them. In addition to avoiding the use of electronic devices, motorists should forgo eating or applying makeup when they drive, so all of their attention goes toward driving. 

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