There are clear and present dangers to distracted driving; it multiplies the risk of car crashes and personal injuries and wrongful deaths. This stems from reduced perception and longer reaction times. It bears repeating that, contrary to what drivers might assume, research has shown that hands-free mobile device use is truly not safer than hand-held, because cognitive brain distraction, the most dangerous form of distraction, is the same for hands-free and hand-held devices. Yet American and foreign car manufacturers are incorporating hands-free, voice-activated technology, in their new cars; this is a troubling trend that spells danger by enticing drivers to desert their singular job behind the wheel – driving – and devote their attention to telecommunication.
The Take Away with John Hockenberry airs on many National Public Radio (NPR) stations, including WJCT 89.9 in Jacksonville. A recent edition of The Take Away discusses this growing public safety issue: High-Tech Tools in Cars are Distracting for Drivers. And, available there is the following link to an important report by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Measuring Cognitive Distractions.
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