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Infotainment systems safety guide

Cars are increasingly equipped with technology. Be aware of the risk and use wisely.

Driver's hand operating an on-board GPS system

What is an infotainment system?

Infotainment systems provide entertainment and informational content, including audio and video, in your vehicle. With features such as GPS, backup cameras, streaming music, Bluetooth connection and a personal concierge, auto infotainment systems have added a lot to the commute. Designed to make the drive easier, infotainment systems are also touted as safer to use, thanks to their hands-free and voice recognition capabilities.

How can infotainment systems be distracting?

"Hands-free" does not equal risk-free. According to the American Automobile Association, infotainment systems can distract drivers in multiple ways and cause:

  • Slower reaction time,
  • Missed visual cues,
  • Suppressed brain activity in the area used for safe driving, and
  • Less visual scanning of the environment.

In driving simulations, these distractions caused rear-end collisions. On the road, more than 1,100 people are injured every day in distracted driving crashes.

Guidelines to consider for a car infotainment system

If you have or are purchasing a car with an infotainment system, these guidelines can decrease distractions and increase safety.

  • Consider ease of use. If you're purchasing a car, compare infotainment systems to find the safer options. After your purchase, practice using the infotainment system before you hit the road.
  • Stick to short commands. Using an infotainment system can be as mentally demanding as solving a math problem. Therefore, stick to simple, passive activities. Having texts read to you is one example.
  • Stay engaged in driving. Minimize all distractions, including those that can come from an infotainment system. Using the infotainment system only when you're parked somewhere safe is ideal.

Discover more ways to maintain your vehicle and stay safe while driving with our Simple Insights. 

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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