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Distracted Driving Update: More Data Shows Hands Free is Not Risk Free

Distracted driving is on the road and in the news. As agencies and law enforcement work to get the word out, researchers examine why and how distracted driving is so dangerous.

In 2012, Ohio enacted a ban on the use of hand-held devices to text while driving. For drivers under 18, use of all electronic wireless devices is prohibited while operating a vehicle. But did this ban go far enough? Recent studies say no.

In an earlier blog, we talked about a study from the Automobile Association of America (AAA) Foundation that identified types of cognitive distractions and measured their effects on the driving task. A basic finding of that study was voice-to-text devices do not enhance driver safety, but impact driver performance in a negative way.

A different study from Texas A&M Transportation Institute also examined voice-to-text messaging and found the following:

  • Driving distracted, as when texting or communicating by other means, reduces reaction time needed to safely respond to road hazards.
  • Visual attention to the road was substantially less when texting via cell phone or on in-cab devices.
  • It takes slightly less time to text manually than using an in-cab voice-to-text device.
  • Texting via cell phone or via voice-to-text messaging are equally dangerous.

There is a collision up ahead as safety advocates urge automakers not to provide on-board communicating capabilities to drivers who should have the road in their eyes and on their mind.

Distracted driving is dangerous, and these studies are not the last word. If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, speak with an experienced attorney from our firm.

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