Apple CarPlay allows drivers in Arizona and across the U.S. to use their iPhone as if it were part of their infotainment system. This, according to Apple, can reduce the distractions that come with actually holding a phone in one’s hand. While this sounds good on paper, one study finds that the reality is otherwise.
IAM RoadSmart, the U.K.-based road safety charity, found that drivers who use CarPlay have longer reaction times. In fact, these reaction times exceed those of drivers who text or who are high on marijuana.
For the study, researchers had 40 people participate in a driving simulation. Half were asked to use Apple CarPlay while the other half used Android Auto. Both groups used their respective system’s voice commands and touch controls while the simulator monitored behavior.
It turns out that CarPlay voice controls increase reaction times by 36%, and the touch controls increase them by 57%. Android Auto’s voice and touch controls produced similar results (30% and 53%). By comparison, drivers who text are 35% slower in their reactions while drivers high on marijuana are 21% slower.
Researchers say that Apple should be proactive in improving CarPlay’s safety, such as by disabling certain features when a vehicle is in motion. Users can do their part by, for example, programming their destination before driving.
It’s sad that new technology keeps on raising the risk for car accidents, but drivers who cause them can blame no one but themselves. Distracted driving is a form of negligence regardless of what contributes to it, and victims, for their part, may be able to file a claim. Under Arizona law, victims may file even when 99% at fault, but naturally, any degree of fault will make it harder to achieve a settlement. Legal assistance may be good to have.