Apple Announces Hands-Free Tech, But Could Cause Distracted Driving
In early March, Apple announced a new device called CarPlay to allow for hands-free phone use while driving. However, studies show that any kind of technology use in the car can cause distracted driving, which can lead to serious accidents.
CarPlay is an app that plugs into a vehicle’s car navigation screen to use an iPhone while driving. Although Apple touts CarPlay as “hands-free,” the app does allow drivers to use the touch screen, which removes their eyes from the road and at least one hand from the wheel. This could lead to distracted driving.
However, drivers can use Siri’s voice commands to activate their phone as well.
A recent study from the University of Utah shows that using any kind of device, whether or not it is hands-free, can lead to distracted driving.
“Our research shows that hands-free is not risk-free,” says University of Utah psychology Professor David Strayer, lead author of the distracted drivingstudy, which he conducted for the foundation arm of the nonprofit AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association.
“These new, speech-based technologies in the car can overload the driver’s attention and impair their ability to drive safely,” says Strayer. “An unintended consequence of trying to make driving safer – by moving to speech-to-text, in-vehicle systems – may actually overload the driver and make them less safe.”
“Just because you can update Facebook while driving doesn’t mean that it is safe to do so,” he adds. “Don’t assume that if your eyes are on the road and your hands are on the wheel that you are unimpaired. If you don’t pay attention then you are a potential hazard on the roadway.”
“The idea that people want to be on their phones, and therefore let’s give them a way to do that — that’s not putting safety first, that’s putting convenience and the desire to be in touch first,” said Bruce Hamilton, manager of research and communications at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which published the University of Utah’s distracted driving study.
“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.”
Distracted driving can lead to serious injury or even death. While many states are passing legislation to prevent drivers from texting, using social media, send emails, or talk while the phone is held up to their ear, most of these laws allow drivers to use hands-free devices, which can still distract the mind and lead to an accident.
The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers
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