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New car gadgets, more distractions

The technology newer cars have may seem very convenient, but they are also very distracting. KIFI/KIDK looked into findings from a new AAA study that supports that claim with its results.

The gadgets installed in your car, they may be hands-free or voice-activated, but that doesn’t mean its proven to be safe to use on the road. AAA partnered with the University of Utah to study 30 new 2017 vehicles by testing driver’s attention to the road and their eye movement.

“Even though we think that all these conveniences are there for our entertainment and amusement — and ultimately they are — but they do interfere with the driving task in that they have nothing to do with safe driving in many cases,” said Matthew Conde, the public affairs director at AAA Idaho.

The study was tested with four factors: listening to the radio, dialing and calling, texting and navigation.

“We found that navigation was a very high source of cognitive demand to the point that it would be like trying to balance a checkbook while driving if you’re entering in coordinates for a destination while you’re driving down the road,” Conde said.

Conde said he hopes this information can guide automakers to make systems that are safer and more efficiently integrated into everyone’s daily lives.

“What it tells us is that there’s really no such thing as the ‘multitasker.’ Truly that’s a myth and humans try to flip back and forth between different tasks. The problem is we don’t do it very well, and vehicle technology isn’t ready for us to disengage behind the wheel,” Conde said.

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