Two new AAA studies again prove that voice-only command systems (hands-free), whether in the smart phone or the car itself, cause drivers to be distracted. The studies’ author, Professor David Strayer of the University of Utah, has conducted previous research on distracted driving. These studies focused on how distracted drivers get using voice commands.
The first study also ranked car voice systems by level of mistakes and distractions; Chevrolet’s with GM’s MyLink system was the worst and Toyota’s Entune system was the least worst. “Even though your car may be configured to support social media, texting, and phone calls, it doesn’t mean it is safe to do so,” says Professor Strayer.”
In the second study, Apple’s iPhone Siri system was used to send and receive texts, post to Facebook and Twitter, and use a calendar. It was found to be more distracting than using voice-activated technology for other purposes (telephone calls), as the mental workload is increased by these more complex tasks. The research also found that distraction is increased when the voice-based system is difficult to use, too complex, or does not recognize voice commands.
Professor Strayer sums up what Terrell • Hogan attorneys have been teaching students, employers, employees, and other adults about the dangers of distracted driving: “We need to be smart about how we use this technology. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we should use it. … [I]t can be sufficiently distracting that it can impair road safety.”
For the University of Utah and AAA News releases, click here.
To schedule a Terrell • Hogan Attorney to speak to your school or organization about the dangers of distracted driving , click here.
Distracted driving may not be entirely your fault