Navigating the Risks: Siri and Hands Free Technology Safety Concerns
Various types of hands free technology exist for use in our cars. One of the best ways to stay safe while driving, however, is to consider using the ‘do not disturb’ option before you operate your vehicle. Increasing concern that electronic devices present a substantial distraction to motorists resulted in the widespread usage of hands free and voice-activated technology in vehicles. Various devices including Apple’s SIRI require a person’s focus, which means it can be distracting to motorists. The AAA Foundation for Highway Safety reports that increasing the presence of voice-activated electronics in vehicles on the road would also create a distraction and prevent safety challenges for motorists.
The Risks Presented by Hands Free Devices
When you listen or speak on a phone, the ability of your brain to process moving images is lower by as much as a third. Even if a motorist’s eyes remain on the road, the driver looks past 50% of their surroundings. Some people argue that talking on a hands free device is similar to having a conversation with a person in a vehicle. The National Safety Council disputes this fact, though. Instead, the Council passengers state that talking on a cell phone is more dangerous than speaking with a passenger.
Some critical critical facts about distracted driving include the following:
- Almost a quarter of car crashes involve people talking on cell phones
- A person’s ability to process moving images reduces as much as a third when talking on the phone
- Over 13% of distraction-involved accidents in which cell phones were used are deadly.
The dangers that can result from using hands free tools while operating a vehicle are substantial and include various undesirable results like fatalities, property destruction, and injuries to the drivers as well as passengers. For people who have been injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, a personal injury lawyer will fight to make sure that you obtain the results you deserve.
Motor Vehicle Drivers and Phone Usage
Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents in the United States. The category of distractions includes various activities including drinking, eating, grooming, and fiddling with the radio. The increase in the usage of cell phones over the last few decades has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of distracted driving accidents that occur. Utilizing a cell phone while driving creates a substantial risk of ending up in a serious accident.
To reduce the risks created by talking or typing on a smartphone while driving, various companies have created hands Free technology that lets a person use his or her voice to operate their phone. Recent studies have shown that hands free technology can still cause a driver to divert his or her attention from the road.
Voice-Recognition Can Result in Distracted Driving
The Automobile Association of America (AAA) has found that hands free technology can result in cognitive distractions. Research shows that mental distractions created by voice-activated technology can last up to 27 seconds after a person uses the technology. Researchers have found that hands free, voice-activated technology does not do anything notable to increase driver safety.
Many factors that take a driver’s attention off the road can be either physical or visual, but mental distractions can make it more challenging for a motorist to safely operate a vehicle. The AAA utilizes a system of scoring between 1 to 5 to denote the dangers present with utilizing hands free technology. While 1 suggests “least distracting,” 5 suggests “most distracting.” Researchers classified any activity above 2 as potentially dangerous. Siri received a rating of 3.4. Each voice-activated system was shown to increase a person’s mental distraction.
Another university, Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute, found that utilizing Siri while driving was the equivalent danger of texting and driving. Researchers have determined that drivers who use voice-activated technology while driving became more distracted. Drivers who use voice-activated technology also had slower reaction times than drivers who did not use voice-activated technology.
Researchers stated that participants were more inclined to take their eyes off the road when texting. Many drivers have stated that they feel safer when utilizing voice-activated technology, but researchers have found that this does not make operating a vehicle any safer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that there are three types of distracted driving — cognitive, where a driver takes his or her focus off the task of driving; manual, when a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel; and visual, when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road.
Using a smartphone to send text messages by hand while operating a vehicle is one of the riskiest types of distracted driving. Texting encompasses all three types of distractions. When motor vehicle drivers utilize a smartphone while driving, they often take their hands off the wheel as well as their eyes off the road. Texting is viewed as one of the deadliest types of activities a person can perform while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that 9% of deadly accidents and 15% of collisions causing injuries involve distracted drivers. Over 3,100 people were killed while an estimated 424,000 individuals were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2019.
New York as well as many other states have passed laws to reduce or combat distracted driving rates. New York regulations state that all motorists must use hands free devices whenever they talk on cell phones. Additionally, text messages as well as any other handheld device usage are prohibited for all drivers.
Put Down Your Phone
Due to research suggesting that hands free technology is a common cause of distracted driving, the best thing that you can do as a motorist is to place your phone in a safe location where you cannot access it while driving. Some motorists resort to locking their phones in the vehicle’s center console or trunk. Additionally, turning your phone off greatly removes the temptation to reach your phone. By removing this potential cause of distracted driving, you can greatly increase your safety.
Contact a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or harmed in an accident caused by a motorist who you believed was utilizing a distracting technology tool, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced accident attorney. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP today to schedule a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900