Contrary To Popular Belief, Up And Coming Infotainment Systems Are Making Us Worse Drivers, Not Better

Contrary To Popular Belief, Up And Coming Infotainment Systems Are Making Us Worse Drivers, Not Better

Bluetooth, music, navigation, voice commands — they've all become dangerous distractions for teen and adult drivers alike.


Driving demands two levels of attention: vision and mental. Maintaining a high level of both attributes are required for driving safely on the road. Over the recent years, distracted driving has been an increasing problem thanks to cell phones and other interactive technology. The Department of Transportation ran the first ever national campaign against distracted driving in 2014 called, "U Drive. U Text. U Pay."

It is now 2018, and vehicle manufacturers are installing infotainment systems in the majority of their cars. These systems are capable of doing almost anything for you while driving on the road. Some popular features include:

  • Playing music and other media through Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
  • Voice-commands like calling, voice to text and Google search.
  • Touch-screen
  • Backup cameras
  • GPS

Range Rover Infotainment System Displaying AppsWikipedia

The functionalities provided by these systems allow for the user to surf the web, social media and even send a text message which are all things that should be done prior to or after getting behind the wheel. As more data became available and the issue grew direr, science experiments had to be done to truly understand the effect of our distractions.

The Ground-Breaking Experiment

A study done recently by AAA's Center for Driving Safety & Technology with researchers from the University of Utah ran a test that measured the amount of visual and mental demand completing tasks using the infotainment system as well as the time it took in 40 different 2017 and 2018 cars. As interactive technology continues to evolve and make our lives easier, so does the issue of driving distracted.

The participants of the study were put up to the task of using the voice command, touch screen and other technologies that required human attention to call, text, set up music or audio and program the navigation while driving.

The Results Don't Lie

Out of all the user tasks, the most distracting ended up being setting up the navigation, taking on average of 40 seconds for the drivers to complete. That's 40 seconds where anything can happen. Furthermore, out of the 40 vehicles that were tested, NONE of the infotainment systems resulted in "low" demand. In fact, 29 systems generated a high to very high demand while the leftover 11 finished with a moderate rating.

Turns out, the use of Apple Car Play and Android Auto systems are actually far less demanding than the pre-manufactured in-vehicle systems. The study is telling us that third-party apps are being designed to help combat the distractions but even then, it still isn't enough to produce low demand results.

So, What's Less Distracting? Native or Third-Party Systems?

Here's the statistical breakdown:

  • Third-Party apps were 24% (5 seconds) faster on average than Native systems.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Systems made calling 31% (15 seconds) faster.
  • Driver's still took 33 seconds (third-party apps) to compared to 48 seconds (native) to complete the navigation task.
Vehicle reports with in-depth information from the study for each infotainment system are available here on the AAA website.

Study Report Summary of Distraction Levels for a Tesla Model S AAA's Center for Driving Safety & Technology

At the end of the day, AAA is recommending that vehicle manufacturers should aspire to create native infotainment systems that require a low amount of driver attention.

The New Standard and More Studies to Come

Societal pressures to develop safer, less attention-demanding infotainment systems in cars straight off the lot could change the future designs of many cars in the future. People will only become aware of this public safety issue if more tests like these are conducted and corporations raise awareness about distracted driving through national campaigns.

Organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study that showed 3,450 deaths in the United States were caused by car accidents related to distracted driving. Out of that study, an interactive data visualization company worked with a personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to create an interactive map where users can see in real-time the fatalities spread out across the country since 2016. Distracted driving can be anything: texting, eating, drinking, smoking and even a passenger in the car or an outside object that caught your attention for a few seconds. Understanding the effect technology can have on us and how it transfers over to our driving is important to arrive alive every single day.

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The Ultimate "One Tree Hill" Location Guide

Many of the locations are still there. Some have changed quite a bit, but you can still visit them and really feel as though you are in Tree Hill.

In Summer 2015, I was vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. On one of the cold days, we decided to go up and visit Wilmington, South Carolina, where "One Tree Hill" was filmed!

Many of the locations are still there. Some have changed quite a bit, but you can still visit them and really feel as though you are in Tree Hill.

1. Brooke Davis’ House

2314 Tattersalls Dr.

Brooke Davis’ house is in a very nice neighborhood and it is beautiful!

2. Peyton Sawyer’s House

1901 Market St.

3. Haley James' House

1811 Chestnut St.

Right beside Peyton’s house is Haley’s!

4. Lucas Scott’s House

1829 Wrightsville Ave.

Sadly, the swing is no longer at this house and the door is blue instead of black.

5. Rachel Gatina’s House

1417 Market St.

Rachel’s house is actually a bed and breakfast now!

6. CD Alley

8 Market St.

You can now buy "One Tree Hill" merchandise here!

7. Naley’s Bench

Just down from Black Cat Shoppe, you can find the bench! It’s on the corner of Water and Market and it is the last bench behind the visitor’s desk. It has a lot of OTH writing on it, so it’s easy to locate.

8. The window that Nathan was pushed out of

23 North Front St.

9. Karen’s Café/Clothes Over Bros

Corner of Grace St. and N. Front St.

It is now a shoe store and doesn’t really look like Karen’s Café or Clothes Over Bros, but it’s still pretty neat to see it!

10. The Bridge

6th Street Bridge on North 6th St. and Hanover St.

This located in a bad part of town, so be careful. You cannot get pictures from the angle that the camera did because it is overgrown, but it is still possible to get pictures in front of it. Just watch for traffic!

11. The Rivercourt

Across from the USS Carolina

Unfortunately, the Rivercourt is no longer there. However, it is still a cool location to see. It now has a little area to sit in which is filled with “One Tree Hill” writing.

12. TRIC/Red Bedroom

1121 S Front St.

Finally, we were able to visit TRIC/Red Bedroom which was very cool! However, it is also in a bad part of town, so be careful.

Bonus Locations:

These are locations that I was not able to visit but that you might be able to!

13. Brooke and Julian’s House

101 Rouge Cove Dr., Carolina Beach, NC 28428

This is a private neighborhood and not located in Wilmington.

14. Haley and Nathan’s House

2709 Middle Sound Loop Rd.

This is also a private neighborhood.

15. Nathan and Haley’s Apartment

2395 Birchwood Dr.

16. Quinn and Clay’s Beach House

650 New River Inlet Rd., North Topsail Beach, NC 28460

This is also not in Wilmington. It’s about a half hour away, but it's located on a beautiful beach!

17. Dan and Deb’s House

1621 Country Club Rd.

This is also located in a private neighborhood.

18. Tree Hill High

610 N Front St.

This is Cape Fear Community College.

19. Whitey Durham Field House (1-4)

2700 N College Rd.

This is E.A. Laney High School. Their gym was the Tree Hill High gym in seasons one through four.

20. Whitey Durham Field House (5-6)

6520 Market St.

This is the gym that Skills and Lucas coached basketball in. It is the MCS Middle School.

21. Keith’s Auto Shop

19 Covil Ave.

It's now Performance Auto Specialists.

22. Dan Scott Motors

821 S. College Rd.

It's now Stevenson Honda Acura.

Scavenger Hunt Location:

23. Karen's Cafe's Rooftop

The one location that we looked for, but were not able to find was Karen's Cafe's rooftop where Haley and Lucas played mini golf and put their yearly goals. It was not filmed on top of Karen's Cafe like the show says. After some research online, we were able to find out that it was a couple streets over on top of a parking garage. So, I hope that if you are looking you will be able to find it!

Cover Image Credit: One Tree Hill Wiki

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5 Things To Remember For Spring Break

Have fun, but please be safe.


All students look forward to one thing during the school year, no matter what age they are. There's no doubt that we all get excited for breaks, but one stands out more-so than the others: Spring Break!

When you're a kid, you're excited to spend time with your friends, go camping, and spend all your time at the pool. In high school, it's along the same lines, but you're trying to sneak alcohol everywhere and everyone is judgmental about what swimsuit someone decided to wear.

In college, you do one of two things: 1. You sleep for a solid week and Lord help the person that decides to interrupt your sleep deprived, peaceful slumber. And 2. You travel to the beach of your choice and you're drunk the entire time (depending on who you are, you're also drunk during the first half of the week that classes start again).

If you decide to be a party animal during our favorite school break, obviously I want you to have all the fun you could possibly have. The less you remember it, the better..or worse- I don't remember. Maybe a few flashes here and there. Just please don't puke everywhere. But the most important thing is that you keep safe and be cautious wherever you decide to go. Just please don't recreate Spring Breakers or The Hangover. --But if you do recreate The Hangover, video or it didn't happen. I want to see who steals a tiger, loses a tooth, has an Asian man in the trunk, and who got stuck on the hotel roof.--

But seriously, to avoid any unfortunate events happening to you and/or your friends, please keep these things in mind.

1. Have a buddy system

Crazy stuff happens during Spring Break. Everyone knows that. Just don't lose track of each other because something serious could happen and it definitely would ruin the trip. Make sure each other are safe and don't put yourselves in a position that you'll regret later. Spring Break is the prime time for rape, kidnapping, human trafficking, etc. It's crowded everywhere so it would be extremely easy for someone to slip away undetected. People won't be paying attention to anything else except having fun. With all the distractions, that's a perfect opportunity for a predator to strike.

2. Be aware of what you put in your body

Alcohol and drugs are always a factor. If someone offers you a drink, be careful- especially if it's already open. You don't know 99% of the people so you have no reason to trust anyone and you don't know their intentions. As for drugs that you might take, there's a lot of impure stuff nowadays. Even weed is enhanced with things that people aren't aware of. Obviously. That's why there's so many different names. Just be careful and aware.

If you go to the bathroom, take your drink with you. Don't leave it somewhere, unattended, and come back to it. You don't know what could be in it anymore. If anything, get a new one.

3. Always have your ID, money, and phone

Getting into more serious topics, it's important that you have these things. And not for the fun reasons. Always carry your ID. Aside from getting into a bar or whatever, if something happens to you (God forbid), you'll be able to be identified. Always carry money. Aside from being able to buy more booze, always have money on you so you can get away from an area or situation that you won't want to be in. Always have your phone. You need to have a line of communication JUST IN CASE you get separated from your group or you need the police.

4. Please don't end up on Pornhub

Just.. please don't. Everything ends up online. Just don't end up on that site.

5. Make sure you have enough money to get home



Just please be responsible and aware of your surroundings. You can have all the fun you want, but please be careful. I don't want to see any news flashes for unfortunate events that might have happened to you or your friends. Have a great break!


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