Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

New Study Highlights Lasting Impact of Mental Driving Distractions

Drivers remain distracted for almost 30 seconds after using a voice command system to send a text or make a phone call, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The latest distracted driving study confirms that mental distractions can be particularly dangerous on the roadway and can’t be eliminated by hands-free systems.

“The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving.”

Voice-activated technologies can be found in many new vehicles, as well as on our smartphones. However, as most users will acknowledge, using voice prompts to conduct tasks such as sending a text message, making a call, or getting directions is rarely a seamless process. To study how the hands-free systems impact drivers, the researchers studied the in-vehicle technology in ten 2015 models and the software used in three types of smart phones (Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now).

As San Diego injury lawyers, the results are concerning. The study revealed that mental distraction could persist for as long as 27 seconds after completing a distracting task. At the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit in the study, drivers traveled the length of nearly three football fields while impaired.

When using the least distracting systems, drivers were still distracted for more than 15 seconds after completing a task. The best performing vehicle was the Chevy Equinox, while the worst was the Mazda 6. With respect to smartphones, Google Now earned the best distraction rating of 3.0, while Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana earned ratings of 3.4 and 3.8.

The bottom-line is that hands-free does not mean distraction free. Accordingly, the AAA Foundation advises drivers to exercise caution when interacting with these technologies while behind the wheel.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego car crash involving a distracted driver, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.