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Driving While Distracted a Serious Problem

We all know by now from PSAs to blogs that driving while distracted is dangerous. Using your cellphone while driving, and even eating while driving, can both be distracting enough to take your focus from the road and lead you into an otherwise avoidable accident. Although there really isn't a solution to the distraction that eating while driving poses (except to stop doing it), the solution that some have suggested for cellphone distraction is hands-free devices that would allow drivers to talk on their cell phones. However, recent research shows that this might not be so much of a solution afterall.

New Study Finds Mental Distraction is as Bad as Physical Distraction

A new study, conducted by the University of Utah and AAA found that hands-free devices don't actually stop distracted driving caused by cellphones. Specifically, the study found that even when a driver's hands were on the wheel, reaction time slows, brain function is compromised and drivers miss visual cues on the road while using a voice-activated technology for the cellphones.

AAA Recommends Drivers Not to Use Voice-Activated Systems While Driving

The study measured brainwaves, eye movement, and reaction time to evaluate a driver's mental workload as they tried to multitask behind the wheel. The results were then ranked from 1 to 3, with 1=minimal risk; 2=moderate risk; and 3=extensive risk. Based on the findings, AAA is recommending that consumers not use voice-to-text features By 2018, infotainment systems in vehicles are projected to increase fivefold, raising concerns about new possibilities for distracted driving.

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