Study finds using Apple CarPlay, Android Auto while driving is more dangerous than while intoxicated

Modern cars are jam packed with technology, be it in the form of systems that help to improve safety or provide more multimedia functionality. On the latter, several infotainment systems these days come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which do make things more convenient for many drivers.

However, a new study by IAM RoadSmart, a UK-based road safety organisation, says that using these smartphone-based mirroring apps while driving is more dangerous than an intoxicated person behind the wheel.

According to the study, using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto touchscreen interfaces increases driver reaction times more than driving while intoxicated, using your phone in hand, texting, hands-free phone usage, and using cannabis.

Looking at the results, using Apple CarPlay increased reactions time by 57%, while it is 53% for Android Auto. By comparison, is 12% for drunk driving (within the legal limit), 21% for cannabis use, 35% for texting-while-driving, 46% for hand-held phone calls.

The study found that drivers took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds when using either system, resulting in a deviation of lane position by as much as 530 metres at 112 km/h (70 mph). Additionally, the drivers tested were unable to keep a consistent speed and distance to the vehicle in front, and underestimated the amount of time they spent looking away from the road by as much as five seconds.

Participants in the study also failed to react to a stimulus on the road ahead when engaged with either system – selecting music through Spotify – with some reaction times slowing by as much as 50%. However, the results were less shocking when using the digital voice assistants on both systems, with a 36% increase in reaction time for Apple CarPlay and 30% for Android Auto.

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