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Hands-Free Distraction: AAA Study Sounds Alarms, Part 1

When confronted with significant safety concerns about distracted driving, car companies and consumer electronics manufacturers responded with a new category of devices and products: hands-free in-vehicle communication. These devices allow drivers to use their phones by giving voice commands-dictating text messages or GPS destinations, for example.

Although many observers hoped that these devices would help lead the way back from the rising numbers of distraction-related car accidents in Ohio and the rest of the nation, AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety believes the opposite is true. 

In a new study, AAA warned that hands-free devices encourage what it calls "inattention blindness": a kind of auto-pilot mentality in which drivers watch the road but do not critically think about what they are doing. For example, many drivers who use hands-free technology fail to scan the road ahead and respond to changing conditions or obstacles.

The research behind this study seems to back up AAA's concerns. Check back later for more specifics about that the researchers found.

Source: The Day, "AAA study: When driving, hands-free does not equal risk-free," June 13, 2013 

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