Think you’re safe using hands free tech? Think again. According to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, even though you might well be using a hands free kit, you are still being distracted from the task of driving even though you have your eyes firmly glued on the road ahead.
These dangerous distractions are caused by mental overload on the driver, dramatically driving down reaction times when trying to slow down. Drivers apparently watch the road less and miss things in their field of vision. So when you get home make sure there is no hapless cyclist wrapped around your nearside wheel!
The AAA is appealing to automobile manufacturers to focus on only essential motoring activities to be voice activated, things like climate control, cruise control and disable non-essential activities such as texting, email and using Facebook and other social media.
This of course is bad news for the companies new and old, which are pumping a lot of funds into the growing market for voice activated auto related apps. The Consumer Electronic Association has thrown some doubts on the conclusions of this study. Highlighting the methods employed when doing research, which included young drivers put in cars they were unfamiliar with, whilst wearing giant spacemen type helmets, hardly a naturalistic way of driving really.
Meanwhile, other studies have found no real effect on driving ability whilst using voice activated voice technology.
To summarise then, we all talk in our cars on a daily basis, some of us even when we are alone! So using voice activated tech should, if used correctly be fairly safe especially when you consider the alternatives of one hand on the steering wheel the other hand texting whilst focusing on a tiny screen. Whatever you think, drive carefully, you know it makes sense.
Alex contributed this guest post on behalf of www.www.toyotaplace.com. He is a tech savy guy and freelance automotive writer. He enjoys sharing his tips and insights on auto and driving blogs. You can visit him at Google+.