It takes the average driver about 40 seconds to program a car’s built-in navigation system while on the move, a distraction that significantly increases the chances of an accident.

That’s one big take-away from a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that measured the time it takes drivers to use the latest in-dash infotainment systems. Moreover, many of the latest systems include functions, such as text messaging and internet searches, that have nothing to do with driving a car.

Researchers examined the visual and mental demands of vehicle infotainment systems on 120 drivers, ages 21-36, traveling on a residential road with a 25-mph speed limit. Participants used voice commands, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text, tune the radio or program navigation.

The study measured how long it took drivers to complete a task using the system, and researchers categorized demand as low, moderate, high or very-high. None of the 30 2017 vehicles used in the study had systems that resulted in low demand. Seven generated moderate demand, while 23 were considered high or very-high demand.

Programming a GPS navigation system caused the most distraction among drivers, taking an average of 40 seconds — enough time for study participants to travel the length of four football fields. Sending a text caused very-high distraction, while tuning the radio or making a phone call was a moderate distraction.

Previous research has shown that drivers who take their eyes off the road for as little as 2 seconds double their risk of a crash. About 11% of all fatal accidents are at least partly caused by distracted driving, leading to almost 4,000 deaths a year.

What do you think? Do you find dashboard technology easy to navigate or is it just another distraction?

Distracted driving is no excuse to cause injury to you or your loved ones. If you have suffered as a result of a distracted driver, our attorneys can help get you the compensation deserved. Call 1-800-444-5309 for a free consultation. We have offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Scranton and will travel to you.