New technology in vehicles that help keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, are now being said to be more dangerous than talking on a hand-held phone.
It's all because of "cognitive distractions" according to a AAA study.
"There is a looming public safety crisis ahead with the future proliferation of these in-vehicle technologies,' said AAA Presiden and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet.
A research team at the University of Utah set up a research project, measuring brainwaves, eye movement and other metrics in various drivers. The found that when those drivers were listening to the radio, they had a "category 1 level of distraction" or minimal risk.
Then, they had drivers use their hand held cellphones. That was ranked a "category 2 level of distraction" or a moderate risk.
Driver then had to listen and respond to in-vehicle, voice-activated email features. Researches say drivers had a "level 3 rating" or extensive risk.
AAA says it's because mental workload increases, meaning reaction time slows and brain function is compromised.
"It's time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars, particularly with the common public misperception that hands-free means risk-free," said Darbelnet.
Here's how AAA says automotive and electronic industries can help fight "cognitive distractions" and keep drivers safer:
- Limit use of voice-activated technology to core driving related activities (Climate control, windshield wipers, cruise control)
- Disable certain functions of voice-to-text technologies (Social media, e-mail and text messages)
- Educating vehicle owners and mobile device users about the responsible use and safety risk for in-vehicle technologies