Safety is the most important feature of any car. The fastest, nicest, and most fuel efficient car doesn’t count as much if it can’t get to our destination in one piece.
However, some features in our cars make the road more dangerous. These include systems that are designed to make driving easier.
Here are some car attributes that may make driving more dangerous.
1. Red turn signals
Almost every driver in America has red rear turn signals in his car – and that’s a problem.
As mentioned, amber rear turn signals have an important statistical advantage over red turn signals when it comes to accident prevention.
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that amber signals reduce some types of vehicle accidents by 5.3% – if not more – compared to red turn signals. This may be because the amber provides a contrast to the red brake lights.
2. Dark paint colors
Can the color of your car put your life at risk? Possibly, according to a pair of studies.
A 2003 study published in the British Medical Journal (The BMJ) found that there is a “significantly increased risk of serious injury in brown compounds”. He noted that the risks are also higher if you drive a black or green car.
Meanwhile, a 2007 study from the Accident Research Center at Monash University in Australia found that “dark colors and colors with low contrast with the road environment…tend to be associated with higher collision risks, especially in daylight hours.” Researchers have found that black cars have the highest collision risk.
3. Navigation systems
The in-vehicle navigation system is a modern marvel, allowing you to view a map that shows your vehicle’s location at any given moment and provides assistance in getting to your destination. However, these systems have a safety downside, according to a 2017 report from the AAA Traffic Safety Foundation.
Programming a navigation device takes an average of 40 seconds to complete, says AAA:
“When driving at 25 mph, a driver can travel as long as four football fields during the time it would take to enter a destination in the navigation system – all while being distracted from the important driving task.”
AAA notes that keeping your eyes out of the road for just two seconds doubles your crash risk.
4. Information and entertainment systems
The report from the AAA Traffic Safety Association also found that several aspects of infotainment systems can increase risks while driving.
The study asked participants to use voice commands, touch screens, and other interactive technologies to engage in many activities while driving, including:
- Make a call
- Send a text message
- Radio tuning
Of the 30 infotainment systems tested, 23 generated either very high or very high levels of demand for drivers’ attention. The AAA notes that one in three drivers now use such systems while driving and concludes:
“Researchers found that most infotainment systems tested could easily be made safer by following clearly stated federal recommendations such as locking text messages, social media and software navigation while the vehicle is in motion.”
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