Distracted driving and hands-free technology: Study highlights dangers

DISTRACTED DRIVING AND HANDS-FREE TECHNOLOGY: STUDY HIGHLIGHTS DANGERS

Driving while using a hands-free phone is more dangerous than originally thought, according to a new study by AAA. The study brings renewed attention to the dangers of distracted driving here in Georgia.

Driving while using a hands-free phone is more dangerous than originally thought, according to a new study by AAA. The study brings renewed attention to the dangers of distracted driving here in Georgia.

A recent study by AAA found that the use of hands-free technology can actually increase a driver’s mental distraction and contribute to an accident. The study delves into the concept that even though drivers may have their eyes on the road they are not fully focused on the environment around them. This is particularly true for drivers that are experiencing the frustration of attempting to issue a voice command that is not understood by the device. This frustration can lead to a driver missing traffic signs and signals, pedestrians and other vehicles.

The chief executive officer of AAA explained that in these situations, drivers are not fully focused on the roads. The level of distraction varies greatly depending on the type of task and the system in use.

More on the study

A five point system was used to rank the level of distraction of each system that was tested, with five being the most dangerous and one being the least. To provide perspective, the action of simply listening to the radio ranked a one and using a hands-free cellphone to hold a conversation ranked a two. Some notable rankings include:

  • Apple’s Siri system: 4
  • Chevrolet MyLink: 3.7
  • Mercedes COMAND: 3.1
  • Toyota Entune: 1.7

It is important to note that there were some differences in the tests used for these applications. Apple’s Siri system was tested by driver’s using a variety of functions, including sending texts and updating calendars. In contrast, the automakers’ systems were measured by driver’s changing radio stations and using voice-dialing commands.

The study concludes with a call to companies to provide technology that is easier to use and less complicated. In the meantime, AAA encourages drivers to avoid using these applications whenever possible.

Distracted driving and Georgia state law

The study draws renewed attention to the dangers of using a cellphone while driving. Laws regarding the use of cellphones vary across the country, and it is wise to have a basic understanding of the laws in your state. Georgia state law makes it illegal for drivers to use phones to text while driving. This offense is a primary offense, meaning officers can pull a driver over simply for sending a text message. No other violations are needed to justify a stop. The state also makes it illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use a handheld cellphone while driving.

Drivers are required to operate their vehicles safely. Drivers that become distracted while operating their vehicles and cause an accident that injures others should be held accountable for their actions. Victims of these accidents are likely eligible to receive compensation to help cover the high cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and potentially receive payment for lost wages. Contact an experienced Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyer to discuss your options and help better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected.

Keywords: distracted driving