Georgia drivers should be following the debate on distracted driving. Experts say that one out of ten car accidents on the road is caused by a distracted driver. Texting while driving is considered one of the most dangerous distractions. Now there are new voice-activated technologies that allow drivers to send text messages while keeping their hands free and their eyes on the road.
A new study funded by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, however, maintains that these voice-to-text technologies are just another mental distraction for the driver and are just as dangerous as texting by hand. The study found that certain levels of mental distraction can keep the driver so focused on other matters that visual information, such as a stop sign or a pedestrian, is not prioritized by the brain. Experts say that distracted drivers do not see things that are right in front of them, even while they are looking at the road.
Currently, auto manufacturers are scrambling to give consumers all the in-car gadgets that they want. These include entertainment systems, voice activated phone systems, GPS systems and even systems that allow drivers to use Facebook. The problem is that safety research lags behind consumer demand when it comes to these technologies.
The Consumer Electronics Association has contested the results of the AAA Foundation Study. A spokesperson argued that the study used a simulation that did not approximate real life scenarios.
Regardless of the debate about whether voice-to-text technologies are safer than hand texting, the dangers of distracted driving are well-proven. Nobody doubts that distracted driving can result in injury or death. Personal injury lawyers try to help the victims of accidents caused by driver negligence.
Source: USA TODAY, “Hands-free texting and calling are not risk-free,” Larry Copeland, June 12, 2013