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New Study Shows Hands-Free Devices Still Make Distracted Drivers

Posted By Montee Law Firm || 14-Oct-2014

Most people know that driving distracted can be incredibly dangerous. From statistics that reveal thousands of injuries and deaths caused by distracted driving, it seems that many people continue to drive distracted anyway. Because distracted driving has become such a widespread problem, states across the nation have passed laws banning text messaging and the use of handheld electronic devices behind the wheel. Researchers have found that these laws help decrease preventable traffic deaths.

Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the laws, and not everyone completely ditches their phones while on the road. In fact, a great deal of law-abiding drivers opt for hands-free and voice activated devices when behind the wheel. Just because this technology is available and often legal, however, does not mean it's safer. According to a new study from AAA and the University of Utah, hands-free and voice control technology systems can be just as dangerous as texting by hand.

Researchers also found:

  • Hands-free phone calls could be more dangers than dialing and making a handheld call.
  • Many voice systems were prone to error, including misinterpretations of voice commands.
  • Voice-activated systems like Siri increased distraction risks. Two participants using a driving simulator in the study had collisions when trying to use the system.

Researchers from the AAA-funded study analyzed a number of vehicle models outfitted with in-dash voice systems, as well as several in-phone voice systems like Siri. They also had volunteers wear monitors while using driving simulators to measure levels of cognitive distraction.

The new study sheds light on the fact that whenever a person is behind the wheel of a vehicle, their attention should always be focused on the primary task of driving. Because distracted driving – in any form – is a negligent and careless act, victims injured in auto accidents caused by distracted drivers may have the right to recover their damages by filing personal injury claims against the at-fault party.

If you have questions about your rights after an auto accident – including an accident caused by a driver who was distracted at the time – our Kansas City car accident attorneys at Montee Law Firm are here to help. Contact us today to discuss you case.

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