The biggest driving distractions may be the ones that are entirely legal

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You probably think that talking or texting on your mobile phone may be the most distracting thing you can do when you are driving – but this may not be the case.

Researchers have found that performing entirely legal tasks when driving may actually serve as more of a distraction than those that are illegal.


The University of Utah investigated the worse distractions when driving and found that using a sat nav while driving was actually the greatest distraction for motorists.

As in-car technology continues to get more and more advanced - and ironically aims to stop people picking up their phones when behind the wheel – it may serve as an even greater danger for motorists.

Joel Cooper, a researcher and associate professor at the University of Utah, said: "We're really moving in the wrong direction with a lot of this technology."

The university asked 120 drivers to perform four simple tasks – calling, texting, tuning a radio and programming a navigation – on 30 different cars to test, and found that using a built-in distraction may pose as the greatest distraction. Twenty-three of the cars' systems were found to demand high levels of attention, while the other seven were described as "moderate".

A study by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety has previously found that using a voice based or touchscreen can take your eyes off the road formore than 24 seconds while setting up a sat nav can distract you for up to a shocking 40 seconds.