AAA: Using smartphones still not smart while driving

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New research has found that two popular smartphone-based systems like Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto have reduced driver distractions, but experts warn it's still not a good idea to use a phone while driving.

In the study by AAA and the University of Utah, researchers tested the reaction times of drivers while they attempted to perform various hands-free tasks using both the built-in infotainment and smartphone interfaces. The tasks included calling and dialing, music selection, text messaging and navigation programming.

Researchers found the Apple and Google systems were five seconds faster when making a call and 15 seconds faster when programming navigation. But AAA says they didn't reduce enough time to prevent distracted driving accidents.

"We have found through our research that a two-second distraction is sufficient enough to double your crash risk so imagine taking your eyes off the road for all those seconds," says Robert Sinclair, spokesman for AAA.

AAA experts say the safest strategy is to avoid using the built-in infotainment and smartphone systems when the vehicle is in motion. Some drivers say they totally agree.

"It's distracting actually," says Melville resident Hillary Goldman. "I think it's like having an iPad in the car and it's a bit much for a car."

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