Don’t Let Your Navigation System Drive You to Distraction

Onboard infotainment and navigation systems are everywhere. Even if you don’t have one built into your vehicle, you probably have something similar in the form of your cell phone.

Navigation and infotainment systems cause distracted driving accidents Neblett, Beard and ArsenaultThese systems are designed to make driving easier because of their data-gathering, navigation, and entertainment features.

Unfortunately, while they’re intended to make traveling less complicated, they don’t always make it safer. Many motorists utilize their phone for navigation, risking distracted driving crashes. Drivers using cell phones look at but fail to see up to 50% of the information in their driving environment.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has research that reveals in-vehicle navigation and communications technology, as well as app-based programs, can create dangerous distractions for individuals behind the wheel because they demand significant attention from drivers.

For example, programming a GPS takes an average of 40 seconds, but is still considered the number one distracted driving task. Consider this, if you’re moving at even a slow 25 mph, you’ll travel the length of four football fields in that time. This makes fiddling with the nav system one of the most hazardous things you can do while driving.

Like other distracted driving crashes, navigation system-related car accidents are preventable. You can make a difference by programming your systems and devices in advance—before you hit the road. You can also briefly pull over to interact with in-vehicle technology while driving.