Hands-Free Technology Is Still Distracting Drivers

Distracted drivers are the top cause of car accidents in the United States today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated total of 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving and a total of 3,477 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2015 alone.

In an effort to reduce the number of distracted drivers on the roadways, the automotive industry is now making sure that vehicles are equipped with the newest technology that requires little to no physical interaction. Newer model cars now have Wi-Fi and LTE 4G connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, and voice control. The idea is that driving will become safer and easier since the majority of tasks can now be accomplished through voice recognition. For example, newer navigation systems have increasingly become hands free and can be programmed using voice control, which allows a driver to focus on driving rather than physically entering destinations and addresses.

But what if the new hands free technology is not safer and is actually more distracting for drivers? According to the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, it can take an average of 40 seconds of high-level visual and cognitive demand to program a car’s navigation system and an additional 27 seconds of cognitive distraction after the programming.  So even though a vehicle’s navigation system is “hands-free”, a driver will be cognitively distracted for well over a minute, subsequently increasing the driver’s probability of getting into an accident.

Consequently, there is quite a paradox with the technologies available to today’s motorists. The new technological features allow a driver to have their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, but it also makes the driver less mentally focused on the task of driving. Even with the newest hands-free technology, drivers should always wait to talk on the phone, use a navigation system, and search the web until they are no longer driving.

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If you or someone you know has experienced a personal injury due to a distracted driver, we stand ready to prosecute your case to the fullest extent. Remember that delay can harm your case. Contact us now for a free confidential consultation at 401-777-7777.