Safety and Hands-Free Technology…Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
It is well-known that driving while texting or making a phone call can be lead to car accidents. Distracted driving results in thousands of crashes annually, sometimes resulting in car accident injuries and death.
Hands-free technology has been pitched to consumers as a safer alternative, allowing the user to complete tasks via voice commands while still keeping his/her hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. These voice-activated systems are available on most devices and are offered as an optional or a standard feature in most new car models.
However, recent studies suggest that the use of a hands-free system could be just as distracting as the use of a handheld device. In fact, much like texting and driving, a driver’s attention can be partially diverted for up to 27 seconds AFTER interacting with a hands-free system.
Texting While Driving Accidents
A few years ago, people were alarmed to hear that the average text message involved approximately 5 seconds of distracted driving, which at 55 mph is enough to traverse an entire football field. From that perspective, 27 seconds of reorienting yourself to driving after operating a hands-free device seems downright scary.
A variety of factors make this kind of technology distracting for drivers. A glitch in the system causes errors, such as a device misinterpreting a command requires drivers to make corrections – typically while driving. But even when the technology functions properly, the fact remains that the driver is still multi-tasking, and anything that requires the driver to focus on something other than driving, or adds to a driver’s “cognitive workload”, can lead to an distracted driving accident.
Granted, there are a variety of hands-free devices available to consumers and, naturally, the level of distraction varies between different systems. A well-functioning, user-friendly system can help lessen the effects of multi-tasking over a hand-held device, so may be preferable for those who have a “second office” in the car. However, if you want to play it safe, it is better to refrain from making calls, texting or other activities while engaged in driving.
Contact an Experienced Iowa Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer for Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Iowa distracted driving car accident at the hands of a negligent driver, contact Iowa personal injury attorney Marc A. Humphrey for help at 515-331-3510.