Traffic deaths declined in 2023, but distracted driving remains a danger

The proliferation of infotainment screens in new vehicles adds another potential distraction, safety experts say. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in-vehicle technology “can create dangerous distractions for drivers while behind the wheel.” A study by the Transport Research Laboratory in the U.K. found that drivers took their eyes off the road for up to 20 seconds when asked to use a touchscreen interface to play a music track from Spotify. At 60 mph, a vehicle would travel about a third of a mile during that time.

It also takes time for a driver to regain full attention on the road after interacting with infotainment systems. University of Utah studies in 2015 for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that it takes up to 27 seconds after using voice commands while driving, changing music settings or sending a voice-created text message.

Receive Our Newsletter

Get the latest Safety21 news sent to your inbox.