Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, when they were first introduced to drivers, were marketed as new technologies that would reduce distracted driving. However, a new study from UK’s IAM Roadsmart, which is an independent road safety organization, shows that drivers using these smartphone-mirroring systems in a car displayed reaction times five times slower than someone driving with the legal limit of alcohol in their system.
What the Study Shows
Mirroring systems such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto essentially take the most important features from our smartphones and put them on the vehicle’s infotainment screen. It was believed that this would curb motorists’ desire to reach for their handheld smartphones. During testing though, which involved 46 drivers, participants using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds to fiddle with the controls.
The test also broke things up into just voice commands and just touchscreen controls. The voice-command operation was slightly better, but the study’s findings showed both were still extremely distracting to the driver. Those who participated also had a tough time keeping the car centered in the lane while operating the systems, especially when they used the touch control. For the purpose of this study, drivers were told to play a song on Spotify, react to getting a text message, to make a phone call or navigate to a gas station.
Any Distraction Can Be Dangerous
This study is further evidence that the best way to stay away from distractions while driving is to avoid doing any type of activity while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a driving distraction as any activity that causes drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel or their attention away from the act of driving.
It is also important to remember that distracted driving is negligent driving. If you or a loved one is injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California car accident lawyer can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable and secure maximum compensation for your losses.