‘Imperfect’ handsfree technology distracting drivers, says report

Manufacturers of handsfree technologies should make their devices easier to use to avoid distracting drivers, according to a report.

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The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s study of the “imperfect” systems found that they would be safer if they were less complicated and more accurate.

The group recommended that drivers should limit their use of “most voice-based technologies” to “minimise cognitive distraction” and drive more safely.

AAA chief executive officer Bob Darbelnet said: “We already know that drivers can miss stop signs, pedestrians and other cars while using voice technologies because their minds are not fully focused on the road ahead.

“We now understand that current shortcomings in these products, intended as safety features, may unintentionally cause greater levels of cognitive distraction.”

The study found that the lower a system’s accuracy, the more likely it was to distract drivers.

Also, composing text messages and emails using in-car technologies was found to be more distracting for drivers than using the same systems to listen to messages.

For more information, see the AAA website.

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