“Hands free” does not equate to “distraction free” for drivers

Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that the use of voice-activated applications that allow drivers to use a phone without using their hands, is still distracting for drivers. The study specifically looked at the causes of traffic accidents that lead to injuries as well as death. More specifically it looked at how the brain of the driver reacted depending on the challenges presented. It rated those distractions on a scale of 1 to 4. Readers may be interested to learn that using Siri on an iPhone while driving ranked above 4, or was a major distraction.

The results of this study are relevant to many since it is not uncommon for new vehicles to incorporate the technology that makes it possible for drivers to do the following without taking their hands off the steering wheel:

  • Control the temperature in the vehicle.
  • Enter GPS destinations.
  • Change music selections.
  • Send text messages.
  • Make calls.

Because many of these systems are complex, they do not always work as intended. When system errors occur, a driver can become distracted.

Distracted driving is one example of negligence that could lead to a motor vehicle accident. Individuals injured in this type of crash could find it worthwhile to contact a personal injury lawyer to determine whether it is a good idea to pursue a lawsuit.

Source: The Washington Post, “Voice-controlled apps still distract drivers, report says,” Ashley Halsey III, Oct. 7, 2014