Hands-free technology poses lingering danger
Potentially unsafe mental distractions while driving can persist for as long as 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands, according to new research by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians or other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving, said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation.
Researchers compared new hands-free technologies in ten 2015 vehicles and three types of smartphones. They found that the systems could pose a danger even at seemingly safe moments when there is a lull in traffic or the car is stopped at an intersection.
The reality is that mental distractions persist and can affect driver attention even after the light turns green, said AAAês President and CEO Marshall Doney. We are concerned that these new systems may invite driver distraction, even as overwhelming scientific evidence concludes that hands-free is not risk-free.Download Bulletin PDF