Cell phones, iPods, and other portable electronic devices have been the source of significant scrutiny among traffic safety experts. Recently, the efforts of automakers to make their vehicles more appealing to technophiles have also drawn attention. As car accidents involving distracted driving continue to plague U.S. roadways, many consumers now believe that in-car technologies have become too distracting and dangerous. The survey by Harris Interactive also points to a generational gap regarding the importance of connectivity in a motor vehicle.
The survey gathered responses from 2,634 adults regarding in-car technologies such as GPS systems, driving habit monitoring, emergency response systems and, Bluetooth technology. In total, 76 percent believed that these technologies were too distracting and dangerous. Some 55 percent indicated that in-car technology has already gone too far.
In terms of the overall importance of connectivity, the survey showed that different age groups responded very differently. Some 39 percent of Baby Boomers indicated that a car’s ability to help them stay connected was important. That was contrasted with58 percent among 18-to-35-year-olds. The in-car technology is often geared toward younger drivers. That age group has shown less inclination to drive than previous generations, according to multiple studies.
The role of automakers in reducing driver distraction is complicated. Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed guidelines about how manufacturers should use in-car technology. The guidelines were voluntary, with automakers free to ignore them without penalty. This latest study demonstrates the feelings of consumers regarding the use of these technologies.
Source: Aol Autos, “Study: 3 in 4 U.S. Adults Believe In-Car Technology Is Too Distracting,” by Pete Bigelow, 2 August 2012