Hands-free doesn’t mean risk-free

SEATTLE — A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found hands-free cellphone technology and voice-activated technology does not make drivers safer

Researchers studied about 150 drivers; they monitored their brain waves and eye movement while drivers listened to an audio book, talked on the phone or responded to voice-activated emails. They found the driver’s reaction time was slower and they missed visual cues on the road.

“There is a looming public safety crisis ahead with the future proliferation of these in-vehicle technologies,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “It’s time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental  distractions built into cars, particularly with the common public misperception that hands-free means risk-free.”

AAA officials suggest drivers don’t use that technology while the car is moving and will use this information to encourage automakers to prevent these technologies to work while the car in in motion.

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