Wanting to be connected to some kind of communication device at all times is no longer just a trend among teenagers. Increasingly, all segments of our culture want access to their cell phones, Facebook pages and iTunes, whether they’re at home, walking down the street or behind the wheel of a car.
Many states, including New Mexico, have laws banning the use of a handheld cell phone for talking or texting while driving, since these distracting activities increase the risk of a car accident. Manufacturers now offer hands-free dashboard technology as an alternative, but a recent study raises alarming doubts about the safety of this increasingly popular technology.
Findings from a study by the America Automobile Association (AAA) of the cognitive effects of voice-activated technology on driving attention show in-car technologies to be even more distracting than handheld devices. Based on measurements of reaction time and brain activity in simulated driving situations, researchers rated the level of distraction associated with such activities as:
- Listening to the radio — Minimal risk
- Using a handheld or hands-free cell phone — Moderate risk
- Using voice-to-text communication for texting and social media — Extensive risk
These results may seem counterintuitive, but drivers stop paying attention to the road when they are verbally composing an email or updating their Facebook status. Distracted driving is quickly rivaling drunk driving as a major factor in auto accidents and fatalities, especially among younger drivers. The America Automobile Association warns that the problem may get much, much worse, as supposedly safer hands-free technologies become the norm in new cars.
A distracted driver who is at fault for a collision that injures someone in another car may be liable for injury-related damages. To get help with collecting the compensation that you are legally entitled to, contact our reputable New Mexico auto injury attorneys at Revo Smith Law