Maggie: You know not to text and drive, but what if your car did it for you? Today’s technology lets your car text, call, even send your emails. But is this hands-off technology really any safer? Scott Evans investigates.
Car: Please say a command.
Driver: Call mom at work.
Scott: It seems like a safe option, using hands-free devices while you are driving so you can keep both hands on the wheel.
Driver: Hi, mom.
Scott: But what drivers might not realize is that even though their hands are on the wheel, their minds aren’t necessarily on their driving.
Yolanda Cade: It’s a widely held misconception that people believe if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel that they’re actually safer.
AAA representative: I’m going to start the full program.
Scott: In a recent study by AAA, an automotive association, researchers found that the newest speech-to-text devices designed to make driving safer are actually doing the opposite. That is because they require so much concentration, they actually pull your attention away from the road.
Driver: Thanks, Tyler. It was so much fun. We’ll definitely have to do it again. Send.
Scott: The devices use voice-activated technology to take commands, from changing radio stations to sending text messages.
Driver: Hey, Mariah. Yeah, I definitely still want to plan…
Scott: As the tasks became more complex, like writing an email…
Driver: I will give you a call later and we will try to find some deals.
Scott: …Researchers found that drivers experienced delayed reaction times and were less likely to spot visual cues that could result in an accident.
Driver: Oh! There’s a stop sign. Sorry, guys.
Cade: What happens is, drivers form sort of a tunnel vision. That means you should be able to see something right in front of you, but you actually can’t. And those things could represent things like a pedestrian or a child that is chasing a rolling ball in front of your car, or even a stop sign.
Scott: Researchers predict there will be five times as many voice-activated technologies in the next five years, and they are recommending new regulations to prevent what they say will be a spike in accidents.
Back to you guys in the newsroom.
Maggie: Experts say it can wait. You can make those phone calls and send those texts after you drive.
For more tips on how to stay safe on the road, head on over to Channelone.com.