The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has authorized testing of a number of ground-breaking vehicle technologies in recent years, including self-driving vehicles that are currently making their way around the streets of suburban Detroit. When it comes to hands-free texting options, however, the agency’s chief, David Strickland, recently stated that more research is required.
Texting while driving is banned by law in many states, including California, which also requires drivers to use hands-free devices when making voice calls. However, studies by several safety organizations, including the American Automobile Association (AAA), indicate that merely keeping one’s hands off a cell phone or other device may not be enough to curb driver distraction and prevent deadly accidents.
The AAA study, performed in conjunction with the University of Utah, followed 100 Salt Lake City drivers who spent four hours driving on the road and in a simulator. Each driver wore a special cap that measured brain functions in key areas related to attention and reaction times, and cameras mounted inside the vehicles tracked drivers’ eye movements and reaction to objects in the field of vision.
The study found that hands-free didn’t mean distraction-free; even when giving voice commands, drivers were less able to control their vehicles safely and pay proper attention to the road. The NHTSA director’s comments indicate that the agency is taking such studies seriously when it comes to regulating hands-free devices.
Distracted driving can cause serious injuries and even death. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver in the San Diego area, the skilled southern California distracted driving injury attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group can help. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.