New Study: Voice Commands are Highly Distracting to Drivers

Posted By The Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP || 22-Feb-2016

A new study conducted by the University of Utah for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that hands-free car systems may still be a major distraction behind the wheel.

Although designed to keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, many car infotainment systems have been shown to have the undesirable effect of taking attention away from the road. According to the study, it can take drivers nearly half a minute to return to full attention after using a voice command to turn on the radio, make a phone call, or perform other tasks. Traveling at a mere 25 mph, even a momentary lapse of attention could last the length of three football fields.

The study collected data by comparing a number of voice-operated car systems in 2015 model-year vehicles. Research subjects were asked to take the vehicles home for five days and to report on the ease of use of the voice-operated systems.

The test subjects determined the following:

Cars with the Least Distracting Systems

  • Buick Lacrosse
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Toyota 4Runner

Cars with the Most Distracting Systems

  • Ford Taurus
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Chrysler 200
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Mazda6

Common among the most distracting vehicles was a difficulty recognizing voice commands, increasing the length of time and attention necessary to complete a task. The researchers also found that practice with the systems did not increase their effectiveness – tasks that were difficult at the onset of the study were still difficult after several days.

No matter how many new safety improvements are included in our vehicles, it is important to remember that they are not infallible. Accidents can and do happen when car systems fail due to a poor design or other flaws. Voice command systems that are cumbersome to use are no exception.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a car system failure, we encourage you to contact a New York product liability attorney at The Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP as soon as possible. You may have a case that entitles you to compensation for costs associated with your accident.

To find out if you have a case and how much it may be worth, call The Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP today for a free consultation: (516) 714-5975.

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