A new study conducted by the AAA has found that hands free devices are just as distracting as fiddling with your phone when driving.
The AAA, in conjunction with the University of Utah found that voice commands to dial numbers, change the music and conduct searches were more “taxing on the mind of drivers” than normal tasks such as chatting to a friend or listening to the radio.
“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,” stated AAA CEO, Bob Darbelnet.
“We now understand that current shortcomings in these products, intended as safety features, may intentionally cause greater levels of cognitive distraction,” he continued.
The study found that electronic assistants not only impacted cognitive function but also heart rates and visual functions.
“Voice activated features may seem to be a natural development in vehicle safety that requires little justification. However, a large and growing body of literature cautions that auditory/vocal tasks may have unintended consequences that adversely affect traffic safety,” stated one AAA researcher.
In fact, the report found that audio-assistants were the most distracting thing for drivers other than texting.
It remains to be seen whether this study will effect the future of car technology.