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Study shows that distracted driving solutions may be ineffective

Over the years, efforts to educate people on the dangers of driving while distracted have increased significantly. This means that by now, drivers all across Pennsylvania should be aware of just how dangerous it can be to take their eyes and focus off the road. Drivers who are paying more attention to sending a text, reading an email or updating Facebook than the road can end up causing a serious or even fatal car accident.

Rather than simply putting the phone away in order to focus on the road, many drivers are still looking for ways to do both. They may not want to get a ticket for texting, but they still want to text. With this in mind, auto makers and technology companies have been developing ways that drivers can use hands-free devices to communicate while driving. However, a report by AAA was recently released that challenges the efficacy of these products.

Cars with hands-free devices are supposed to allow a driver to use a phone while keeping his or her hands and eyes on the road. Some cars even have speech-to-text capabilities that let drivers speak commands and messages rather than type them. But AAA reports that these solutions are not helping drivers avoid distraction.

In fact, drivers may end up getting just as, if not more, distracted by these technologies. They end up thinking so much more about scrolling through an email, deleting a message or reading a text using voice commands that their attention is completely away from the road. Even though a person may have their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, the study shows that drivers using these systems are still experiencing serious mental distractions.

Distracted drivers can pose a serious threat to others on the road. They can miss traffic signals or fail to see that cars are stopped in front of them and cause a serious crash. The result is often a devastating and painful accident. Victims of these accidents often have to deal with medical bills, lost wages and other damages, so it is important to remember that they have the right to pursue compensation from a negligent driver.

Source: TIME, "AAA Study Says Hands-Free Texting Is Still Distracting for Drivers," Joan Lowy, June 12, 2013

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