Two recent studies of voice-activated systems in automobiles seem to indicate that these systems, touted by manufacturers due to their supposedly safer hands-free capabilities, are just as dangerous and distracting as having your cell phone in your hand or your fingers fiddling with the radio dial or GPS. One of the main problems, researchers say, is that the systems do such a poor job of translating the human voice that simple commands must be repeated, which takes more time and concentration and leads to frustration. All of these factors take drivers’ attention off the road.
The studies, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah, determined that, of the five systems studied, Apple’s Siri provided the highest level of distraction, more than any of the systems designed by auto manufacturers. Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai and Mercedes were the brands tested. Of these, the Chevrolet MyLink system fared the worst. In fact, only the Mercedes system was found to be less dangerous than using a handheld cell phone.
The proliferation of distractions available to drivers makes the road more dangerous for everyone. According to a Virginia Tech study, the use of handheld devices results in three times the risk of being involved in a crash. Drivers in their twenties, many of whom have grown up with far greater access to electronics than earlier generations, account for 27 percent of the drivers in fatal accidents. And in fatal crashes involving teenage drivers, 10 percent of them are reported to have been distracted at the time of the crash.
Distracted driving causes hundreds of thousands of injuries and deaths each year. If you have suffered serious injury due to the irresponsible actions of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. To get the helpful information and support you need, contact the North Carolina personal injury lawyers with the Lanier Law Group.
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