A new study published by AAA reports that cognitive distractions in the car, such as talking on a hands-free device, can cause traffic accidents.

New Study Published: Cognitive Distractions Can Cause Auto Accidents

Andrew Kim
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A new study conducted at the University of Utah and sponsored by AAA has found that mental driving distractions, such as using voice-controlled devices, are just as risky or even riskier than distractions that take your hands off of the wheel. Specifically, the study found that texting with voice commands is more distracting than talking on a handheld cell phone.

The study is the first of its kind to measure brainwaves while subjects drove in real-life scenarios while distracted by various tasks. During the research, 32 drivers drove in simulators, on closed tracks and on a three-mile loop of road that involved stop signs and traffic lights. They were then instructed to talk on cell phones and use voice-command texting, while experiencing other driver distractions. Researchers recorded the subject’s brain waves, noted specific eye movement, and evaluated their overall driving performance.

What the study’s findings indicate

After compiling the data, AAA recommended to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers that future car models limit the use of voice controls. They also recommended that future traffic laws and safety campaigns keep in mind the dangers of cognitive distractions while driving. AAA stressed that the public should be aware that taking your mind off of the road may be just as risky as taking your eyes off the road or hands from the steering wheel while attending to your task of driving.

However, some traffic safety advocates stated that they thought informing the public of the potential risks of using hands-free devices being just as dangerous as using handheld devices could send the wrong message to drivers.

Washington personal injury attorney

Have you been injured in a Washington car accident that may have involved distracted driving? Call Seattle personal injury attorney Andrew Kim today to request a free case review at 800.636.3676.

Category: Car Accidents

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