Vehicle infotainment systems are significantly affecting driver reaction times, according to a new study.

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) worked with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Roadsmart to undertake a study on the influence of in-vehicle infotainment systems, such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, on driving performance.

The study found that reaction times at motorway speeds increased average stopping distances to between four and five car lengths. The study also found that drivers took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds while driving (equivalent to a distance of more than 500 metres at 70 mph), and using touch control resulted in reaction times that were even worse than texting while driving.

“Driver distraction is estimated to be a factor in around a third of all road collisions in Europe each year,” said Neil Greig, Policy and Research Director, IAM RoadSmart. “While previous research indicates that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto perform better than more traditional buttons and controls, the results from this latest study raise some serious concerns about the development and use of the latest in-vehicle infotainment systems. Anything that distracts a driver’s eyes or mind from the road is bad news for road safety.

“We’re now calling on industry and government to openly test and approve such systems and develop consistent standards that genuinely help minimise driver distraction.”

The full findings of the survey can be viewed at