We know that drivers who have to perform various tasks in the car often get distracted, and that distraction can lead to accidents. Tasks can range from sending a text to picking a radio station to adjusting the mirrors.
To combat this, companies have come up with voice-controlled systems. Are these actually a good way to eliminate distractions?
Even hands-free, the distraction is real
They may certainly help, but that doesn’t mean those drivers aren’t distracted. They’re still interacting with the car or with their devices, at least mentally, and that takes their attention off of the road. It is better to tell the car to pick a new song than to look at the phone and scroll to that song, but it’s still not as safe as merely driving in silence.
You also have to consider that these systems may introduce new distractions. For instance, in one study, some participants found that the cars could not understand what they were saying. The voice-controlled systems would get the commands wrong, fail to respond or ask for clarification. This led to increased frustration by the drivers, and it could mean that they spent miles trying to do something as simple as finding that new playlist, when it should have taken just a few seconds — in theory.
Have you been injured by a distracted driver?
Distracted drivers are everywhere, and we do not yet have a perfect system to eliminate distraction on the road. If you get injured in an accident one of these drivers causes, please make sure you know how to seek financial compensation.