People bring their own screens into vehicles in the form of tablets and mobile phones. Most drivers recognize that screens are a risky distraction. However, many late-model vehicles now have built-in infotainment systems.
These vehicles might have DVD players that display a movie for the passengers in the vehicle, a touchscreen that controls the radio or even a dashboard GPS device. For some reason, drivers often convince themselves that interacting with the built-in screens is somehow safer than using a phone while driving.
Built-in screens can impact driver safety
People think that if automobile manufacturers include screens in their vehicles, they must be safe to use. However, the reality is that manufacturers simply follow trends in many cases. Consumers want screens and technology in their vehicles, so the companies integrate them without really researching what impact they may have on driver safety.
Now that such screens are commonplace, social scientists not employed by vehicle manufacturers can more easily determine the impact they have on driving habits. Research about the use of built-in screens while driving has returned frightening results. While many drivers think that they can safely use these screens, they might also only notice just 25% of the red lights they encounter when interacting with those screens.
Like with a mobile phone, the safest time to use a built-in screen is when you haven’t started driving yet. If you need to input an address into the GPS or change the movie playing for your kids, pulling over while doing so is safer than trying to multitask while driving.
A driver focused on any screen, regardless of its purpose, won’t have their eyes on the road and will take longer to respond to sudden changes in traffic conditions. Recognizing built-in screens are a source of distraction can help more drivers avoid causing car crashes.