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October 2017

Tesla Infotainment Center

Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions for Drivers

By | Safety | No Comments

One more distraction to worry about in the car and this one is front and center. The fancy new infotainment center takes drivers eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time.

The AAA studied 30 new 2017 vehicles and measured the time and mental effort required to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road. The drivers were distracted for up to 40 seconds. Taking your eyes off the road for only 2 seconds doubles the risk of a crash.

“Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president, and CEO.

Driver Distractions Levels

The vehicles were rated from Low to Very High Demand. Low is equivalent to listening to the radio. While very high demand is equivalent to trying to balance a checkbook while driving — yikes! The AAA recommends all infotainment systems reach a only require a low demand.

Very High Demand

Of the 30 cars evaluated, none of the generated a low demand on the driver’s attention. 40% of the cars generated a very high demand, which equals more distracted drivers. This list included very popular vehicles such as the Tesla S. The most distracting vehicles were also the most expensive with an average MSRP of $40,000. However, it also included some more base vehicles such as Mazada 3 Touring ($20,445 MSRP).

High Demand

High demand vehicles including 11 vehicles (36%) with an average MSRP of $31,500.

Moderate Demand

Only 7 vehicles were rated as moderate demand (23%) with a MSRP of $29,500.

Low Demand

0. Zip. Nada.
If you want a less distracting vehicle maybe stick with an older model without the giant screen in the center console.

The Data

We have linked all the data below from the original AAA study and includes the MSRP and category added by DriveBetter.

Very High Demand (Really, Really Distracting Vehicles)

  1. Audi Q7 QPP
  2. Chrysler 300 C
  3. Dodge Durango GT
  4. Ford Mustang GT
  5. GMC Yukon SLT
  6. Honda Civic Touring
  7. Honda Ridgeline RTL-E
  8. Mazda3 Touring
  9. Nissan Armada SV
  10. Subaru Crosstrek Premium
  11. Tesla Model S
  12. Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription

High Demand (Really Distracting) Vehicles

  1. Cadillac XT5 Luxury
  2. Chevrolet Traverse LT
  3. Dodge Ram 1500
  4. Ford Fusion Titanium
  5. Hyundai Sonata Base
  6. Infiniti Q50 Premium
  7. Jeep Compass Sport
  8. Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
  9. Kia Sorento LX
  10. Nissan Maxima SV
  11. Toyota Rav 4 XLE

Moderately Distracting Infotainment Systems

  1. Chevrolet Equinox LT
  2. Ford F250 XLT
  3. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  4. Lincoln MKC Premiere
  5. Toyota Camry SE
  6. Toyota Corolla SE
  7. Toyota Sienna XLE