When you first start driving, every second you’re behind the wheel is exciting and a little bit scary, but as you gain more experience it can become quite boring. On daily commutes or long road trips, every second behind the wheel can feel like torture. To combat this, cars have built-in entertainment systems. When shopping for a new vehicle like a Kia Optima in Bridgewater, NJ, you will see these entertainment systems highlighted. These systems make driving more enjoyable, but do they also make drivers more distracted?
People have been putting radios in cars since the 1930s, and those radios eventually turned into cassette players, CD players, and satellite and Internet radio. Listening to music while driving is so commonplace that few ever question whether it is a dangerous distraction. Studies show that novice drivers make more mistakes while listening to music of their choosing, but studies also show that certain types of music can actually improve driving behaviors. While extremely loud music can block out the sound of trains or the honking of horns, it’s generally accepted that experienced drivers can listen to most types of music safely.
Many accidents that occur due to car stereos are caused by the driver taking their hands off the wheel to change the track or station, and some argue this has gotten worse with the introduction of touchscreens. If a driver is scrolling through their mp3 collection or a list of Internet radio stations, they’re not going to be paying full attention to the road.
While car designers have added a whole slew of entertainment features, some of these features actually prevent entertainment from becoming too much of a distraction. Steering wheel controls allow a driver to change their music without taking their hands off the wheel. Hands-free technology for mobile phones can be built in to cars, so drivers can talk on the phone without taking their eyes off the road.
A new feature that you’ll hear about when shopping for a Kia Optima in Bridgewater, NJ, is voice-activated entertainment and navigation systems. With voice controls, changing your music is no more distracting than having a conversation with a friend. While it might be a good idea to keep new drivers away from unnecessary distractions, with the convenience features added to new vehicles, experienced drivers can safely drive to the beat of their own drum.