In-vehicle systems a dangerous distraction

First published in The Global Road Safety Review 2015 as Cars in danger of becoming living rooms

The UK Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has warned that car manufacturers are building high-tech distractions into their new vehicles and have made interiors so comfortable they are being turned into living rooms. IAM chief executive officer Sarah Sillars said efforts to reduce distraction factors for motorists are being undone by the relentless pace of technology and eagerness of car makers to pack more gadgets onto dashboards.

She said the main areas of concern were highly sophisticated satellite-navigation and GPS systems, smartphones that mirror tablets and easy connectivity of internet and social media, and suggested the UK should adopt the voluntary guidelines suggested by the US Department of Transportation and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

They say drivers should be restricted from using certain non-essential forms of technology while the vehicle is in motion and car makers should not introduce any technological development which takes the driver’s attention off the road for longer than two seconds.