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by | June 19, 2013

Distracted DrivingVoice-activated features on today’s cell phones may make it easier for drivers to text or talk on the phone while behind the wheel, but a new AAA study indicates that hands-free technology is more dangerous than previously thought. In fact, the research suggests that drivers who use hands-free features on their cell phones are two times more distracted than those who don’t, and voice-activated technology that translates speech into text is the most distracting of all. If you have been injured in a distracted driving car accident in Nashville, or elsewhere in Tennessee, consult our qualified lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates today for legal help. Our law firm is located in Nashville, and our legal team has years of experience protecting the rights of car accident victims throughout the state of Tennessee.

Serious Risks Linked to Hands-Free Technology

Hands-free features on cell phones are being marketed as a safer way to talk or text and drive, and many new cars are now incorporating talk-to-text systems into their design. Unfortunately, researchers involved in the AAA study found that these devices require greater concentration from drivers than other potentially distracting actions examined in the study, including talking to a passenger, listening to the radio or talking on the phone. Furthermore, the study authors found that drivers using speech-to-text technology are three times more distracted than drivers who don’t use the technology, causing them to experience a mental block like tunnel vision. “People are actually not seeing what’s going on on the side of the road. They’re not seeing the person standing at the crosswalk waiting to cross or the stop sign,” said AAA researcher Dr. Steven Bloch. “The other is what’s called inattention blindness where even things that happen right in front of them they’re losing track of.”

AAA Warns Against Use of Voice-Activated Technology

To conduct the AAA study, researchers at the University of Utah used high-tech devices to measure the brain activity of drivers while they were not driving, while they were driving in a simulator, and while they were driving a car through a neighborhood in Salt Lake City. The findings of this and other studies are so alarming that AAA officials are recommending that devices be installed in cars that would actually limit the use of voice-activated technology to basic actions like turning on the windshield wipers and air conditioning. In response to the AAA study, the National Safety Council also called on policymakers and the auto industry “to reconsider the inclusion of communications and entertainment technology built into vehicles which allow, or even encourage, the driver to engage in these activities at the expense of focusing on driving.”

Our Attorneys Can Help You File a Claim

The conclusions reached by researchers involved in the AAA study echo the findings of previous research that has compared the risks of hand-held and hands-free phone use, finding the two to be equally distracting or nearly so. Unfortunately, distracted driving is a major cause of devastating car accidents in Tennessee and across the country, resulting in more than 1,060 injuries and over nine fatalities in the United States every single day. If you or a loved one has suffered car accident injuries in Tennessee, and you believe a distracted driver to be at fault, contact our reputable attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Source: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=9136575

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