AAA: Dashboard devices produce more distracted drivers

(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — It’s not just texting and driving that’s dangerous for drivers. A new study by AAA shows the infotainment technology that automakers are adding onto the dashboard of new vehicles is making drivers take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerously long periods of time.

The study, released Thursday, is the latest by University of Utah professor David Strayer, who has been examining the impact of infotainment systems on safety for AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety since 2013.

Automakers now include more infotainment options to allow drivers to use social media, email and text. The technology is also becoming more complicated to use.

The study found drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message.

Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research.