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Drivers facing high-tech overload

Date: 27 October 2008   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Motorists, particularly higher mileage fleet drivers, are increasingly suffering from information and technology overloads in modern cars, according to RAC's latest Report on Motoring.

Overall the survey found that 54% of drivers are seriously distracted by radios and entertainment systems, including DVD players, while satnav had a similar effect on nearly half.

Confusion about a proliferation of monitoring and warning symbols plus switchgear on car fascias was typified by only half of those surveyed recognising the airbag symbol,

Significantly, 35% of those questioned were also distracted by heating and air conditioning controls while 32% claimed mobile phones seriously disturbed their concentration.

Clinical studies reveal that drivers' brains become randomly selective about which information to absorb when overwhelmed with data.

As a result of new technology, 85% believed the complexity of today's cars dictates that drivers should be taught how to use in-car technology properly and selectively.