Using hands-free devices gives drivers a false sense of safety. When you ask Siri, or your car’s voice-activated system, to do something, no California laws are being broken, your eyes are on the road and your hands are on the wheel. But in fact, using hands-free devices while driving, creates a significant danger. As a car accident lawyer, I have seen a spike in distracted driving accidents.
A recent study conducted by AAA California shows the use of hands-free devices can be more distracting than the use of a handheld device. This means there is greater risk of an auto accident occurring whenever a driver is using a hands-free device.
Auto Accidents & Hands-Free Distractions
The AAA study, conducted jointly with researchers from the University of Utah, tested how drivers used voice controlled assistance on smart phones and in-vehicle information systems.
Drivers were asked to do various tasks with their hands-free devices, like making phone calls, dictating text messages, and choosing music. Cameras were used to measure how distracted drivers were when using the system. Categories from 1 to 5 were used to measure how distracted a driver became doing the various tasks. A category 1 task provided the least amount of distraction, similar to listening to the radio. Category 5 tasks were the most distracting, involving highly challenging tasks that overloaded the driver’s attention. Cameras and monitoring equipment were used to determine how distracted drivers became when using the devices.
All voice control system tasks were measured to be at least a Category 2 distraction. The least distracting device, the voice control system in the Chevy Equinox, was rated a 2.4 on the distraction scale. The most distracting voice control system was in the Mazda 6, and was found to be a 4.6 on the distraction sale. Apple’s Siri was a 3.4, and Google Now was a 3.0.
Researchers found that the use of any voice controlled device was a significant distraction for the driver. Surprisingly, not only were drivers distracted while using a voice controlled device, but they remained distracted for up to 27 seconds after they were done using them. During this time, the driver’s brain was focused on what he or she had been doing with the device rather than on what was going on around them.
This lead AAA to put out a warning that the use of voice controlled devices: “slow reaction times and cause inattention blindness, resulting in drivers unknowingly missing objects on the road, such as stop signs, pedestrians, or other cars, which can lead to a crash.”
Getting Help from a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
If you got hurt because another driver was distracted, you can make a claim for compensation for your injuries and other losses. I can help. I will obtain telephone records, police reports, and eyewitness statements to show the other driver was distracted and caused the accident.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a no obligation consultation and learn how a Long Beach car accident lawyer can help get you the compensation you deserve.
You can also download my convenient glove box checklist to keep in your car so you will know what to do if a crash occurs.
Bilingual assistance is available 24/7 and no client pays legal fees unless we recover compensation for you, so give us a call any time to learn more about how Long Beach car accident lawyer can assist you.
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