A recent study by AAA and The University of Utah shows that hands free technology isn’t necessarily make driving any safer.

With the new hands free technology we can text, talk, email, tweet and change the radio station hands free but these advances may avtually be making the process of getting from here to there more dangerous.

AAA conducted the study to research the cognitive distractions and they found that from a mental standpoint, using voice commands to do things like tune the radio and to send and receive text messages and the latter are actually more distracting than — from a mental standpoint than using your handheld device.

Simply put if your mind isn’t focused on that important task of driving, our performance as drivers decreases.

The study looked at a variety of tasks that motorists engage in while driving, from listening to an audiobook and the radio, driving just by itself, talking to a passenger, talking on a cell phone handheld or hands-free, and interacting with these voice-recognition systems to send and receive text messages.

They found that just driving in and of itself has a significant amount of workload associated with it, which makes sense. We’re doing a lot of different things at one time. When you start to listen to the radio and an audiobook, it’s not much more distracting than just driving. Using a cell phone, handheld or hands-free, that’s a category two on the scale of one to five. Interacting with voice-detect systems, category three.

People who are mentally distracted tend to scan the roadway less to look for hazards. It’s a phenomenon called inattention blindness.

AAA has cited some car companies who they believe are taking hands free technology in the right direction because while the car is in motion certain functionalities like composing or reading texts are disabled.

Tey will be doing furthur research next year about crashes and hand held tech. Stay tuned to this blog spot for more info and as always DRIVE SAFE!

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