Study: Hands-free de­vices are dis­tract­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - — Faiz Sid­diqui

Cars are in­creas­ingly equipped with tech­nol­ogy to keep driv­ers con­nected while on the road, but a new study says it can take 27 sec­onds for a driver us­ing a voice-ac­ti­vated en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem to re­gain full alert­ness af­ter mak­ing a com­mand. That means a car go­ing 25 mph can travel the length of three foot­ball fields be­fore a driver’s brain fully re­cov­ers from the act of di­al­ing a phone num­ber or chang­ing mu­sic us­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar in-car en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems.

The find­ings, ac­cord­ing to re­search from the AAA Foundation for Traf­fic Safety, con­clude that hands-free tech­nolo­gies used by al­most a third of D.C. driv­ers can cre­ate men­tal dis­trac­tions even if driv­ers have their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

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