The Most Dangerous Infotainment Systems

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A new AAA study found that the infotainment systems in a dozen 2017 cars are highly distracting.

The entertainment systems ranked “very high” in driver distraction required the same amount of mental activity as trying to balance a checkbook while driving.  A “low” distraction ranking would need only the attention of listening to the radio. None of the vehicles studied were ranked low in distraction.

Among the worst offenders were vehicles that permitted drivers to input an address while driving (found in 12 vehicles), which requires about 40 seconds of driver attention. Any form of messaging while driving was also highly distracting.  Taking your eyes off the road for 40 seconds is the equivalent of driving the length of four football fields at 25 mph, AAA said.

The design of the system is also key, said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.”

See below for the 12 vehicles ranked as “Very High” in causing distraction as well as those ranked “Moderate” or “High.”

The study said simply locking out text messaging, and the ability to program navigation while driving as well as social media access, significantly reduces distraction.

The study was conducted by the University of Utah on behalf of the AA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

It concluded that car makers should follow the 2012 guidelines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that ask automakers to voluntarily block access to messaging, social media and programming navigation while the car is in motion.

Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, said AAA.

By the way, AAA says one in 3 US drivers use infotainment systems while driving.  70 percent of U.S. adults say that they want the new technology in their vehicle, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly.

By the way again, returning to the horse and buggy phase would also reduce traffic accidents.

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety




Very High

N/A Chevrolet Equinox  LT

Ford F250 XLT

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Lincoln MKC Premiere

Toyota Camry SE

Toyota Corolla SE

Toyota Sienna XLE

Cadillac XT5 Luxury

Chevrolet Traverse LT

Dodge Ram 1500

Ford Fusion Titanium

Hyundai Sonata Base

Infiniti Q50 Premium

Jeep Compass Sport

Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Kia Sorento LX

Nissan Maxima SV

Toyota Rav 4 XLE

Audi Q7 QPP

Chrysler 300 C

Dodge Durango GT

Ford Mustang GT


Honda Civic Touring

Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

Mazda3 Touring

Nissan Armada SV

Subaru Crosstrek Premium

Tesla Model S

Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription

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  1. Why haven’t they simply stripped out the software and simply make the Infotainment system a gateway to your phone and allow Siri or Google Now to use Voice commands to start navigation, phone calls and all sorts of other tasks. This will keep you hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

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