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Hands-Free Distraction: AAA Study Sounds Alarms, Part 2

Our last post introduced a study from AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety. These researchers looked at the effects of hand-free technology on distraction-related driving behaviors.

By looking at factors like brainwaves and eye movements, the researchers concluded that voice-activated technologies were an even bigger distraction. This is potentially because the "cognitive burden" is too great-in other words, we just can't multitask as well as we think we can. 

In the words of these researchers, "[d]egradations in peripheral detection, brake reaction time, brainwave measurements, and visual scanning all indicate that drivers who engage in secondary tasks while driving please a greater cognitive burden on themselves. This leaves fewer resources available for the driving task and impair performance."

The car crash personal injury implications of this study are that drivers may be liable for accidents that occur while they are using hands-free technology. Just because a driver is not actually "texting" and driving does not mean he or she was not giving into distraction.

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

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