WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Just because you can talk to your car doesn’t mean you should. Two new studies have found that voice-activated smartphones and dashboard infotainment systems may be making the distracted-driving problem worse instead of better.
The systems let drivers do things like tune the radio, send a text message or make a phone call while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, but many of these systems are so error-prone or complex that they require more concentration from drivers rather than less, according to studies released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah.
“The longer that you’re involved in making these commands — if it didn’t understand you the first time, you have to repeat the command or push a button — the greater level of distraction, especially cognitive distraction. The distraction that takes place in your brain” said AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair. “You get something called inattention blindness where you don’t see things right in front of the vehicle even though you’re looking right at them.”