Apple’s CarPlay system allows drivers to access their iPhones as part of the car’s infotainment system. The makers tout the system as being safe because it helps keep a driver’s eyes on the road, but Texas residents should know that a study from the safety charity IAM RoadSmart has found it to be otherwise.
The study involved 40 drivers traveling a route three times in a simulator — 20 used Apple CarPlay and 20 used its rival, Android Auto. For the first go-around, drivers did not use the tech. The second time, they used voice assist to carry out tasks; the third time, they carried out those tasks using touch controls. It turns out that both CarPlay’s voice and touch controls slowed drivers’ reaction times.
Specifically, the touch controls increased reaction times by 57% while voice controls increased them by 36%. According to these results, CarPlay leads to greater inattention than texting behind the wheel (increases reaction times by 35%), using a hands-free phone (27%) or driving while high on marijuana (21%).
The authors of the study say that Apple must take steps to improve the safety of these systems, such as by disabling some of the more distracting features when a vehicle is in motion. They also suggest creating a “star rating” system to measure how distracting these and other systems are.
According to some analysts, more and more car accidents are being caused by distracted drivers. As for the victims of these crashes, they may be able to file a claim against the guilty driver’s auto insurance company. To ensure a strong case and a reasonable settlement, ideally out of court, victims may hire legal representation. A lawyer could hire crash investigators and other third parties to assist with a case.