Study says using CarPlay slows driver reactions more than cannabis

CarPlay (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A study suggests that "infotainment systems" may be more distracting than once thought.
  • iAM RoadSmart did a study into several infotainment systems to see how they impact driving.
  • They found that using Apple CarPlay was likely to impact reaction times more than calling, texting, and even cannabis.

A study into the impact of infotainment systems on driving suggests they may hamper driver reactions times more than smoking cannabis.

According to a study from iAM RoadSmart:

Worrying results from recent IAM RoadSmart research show that the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems impair reactions times behind the wheel more than alcohol and cannabis use.Among the shocking results, the study – undertaken by TRL on behalf of IAM RoadSmart, the FIA and the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund – found that reaction times at motorway speeds increased average stopping distances to between four and five car lengths, drivers took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds while driving, and using touch control resulted in reaction times that were even worse than texting while driving.

Infotainment Graph

Infotainment Graph (Image credit: iAM RoadSmart)

As you can see from the above graph, using CarPlay and Siri was shown to impact driver reactions more than the UK's (except Scotland) drink driving limit, using Cannabis and talking on a hands-free phone.

The study further claims that using Apple's CarPlay touchscreen would slow down driver reaction times by 57%, more than using a phone in your hand. They also stated that performing navigation tasks with CarPlay could result in a lane position deviation of up to 0.50M.

In response iAM RoadSmart stated:

As a result of their recent research findings, IAM RoadSmart have called on industry and government to openly test and approve all infotainment systems and develop consistent standards that will help minimise driver distraction.

On Apple's website it describes CarPlay as a "smart, safer way to use your iPhone while you drive."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9