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New Evidence Suggests Car Voice Controls Are as Distracting as Cell Phones

In an effort to reduce the risk of car accidents caused by distracted drivers, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended banning the use of all mobile devices in cars in December, except for those used for navigation or emergencies. However, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman has recently proposed a ban that includes voice controls in …

In an effort to reduce the risk of car accidents caused by distracted drivers, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended banning the use of all mobile devices in cars in December, except for those used for navigation or emergencies. However, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman has recently proposed a ban that includes voice controls in cars, since there is not enough research available to determine whether or not they are equally distracting to drivers. Distracted driving accounts for approximately 3,000 traffic accident fatalities each year, according to NTSB statistics, and distracted driving risks may include using cell phones, text messaging, and car voice controls while behind the wheel.

Distracted Drivers Have Decreased Response Time

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has already introduced guidelines for the safe use of some in-car technology, but the organization isn’t set to address car voice controls for at least two years. In the meantime, David Strayer, a professor from the University of Utah is researching distracted driving and car voice controls, in a study commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Strayer reports that in simulations, drivers using systems that let them receive emails that are read aloud took “significantly longer” to respond to brake lights than drivers who were listening to the radio or even talking on their cell phones.

These findings shed light on the problems with assertions made by Auto Alliance (AA) spokesman Wade Newton, who has said that “voice operations are one of the ways to let people do what they’ve come to expect to be able to do with today’s technology, while still keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.” Strayer counters: “Hands on the wheel and eyes on the road aren’t safe if the mind is not on the drive.”

Personal Injury Attorneys for OK Car Accidents

Distracted driving leads to tens of thousands of accidents and thousands of fatalities every year, yet the auto industry continues to develop new technology that causes drivers to focus their attention on tasks other than their drive. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an Oklahoma accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and medical bills. At Oklahoma Legal Center, our experienced car accident attorneys are familiar with Oklahoma laws governing distracted driving, and can help victims of OK car accidents protect their legal rights and pursue fair and timely reimbursement for their injuries.

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