Hands-free technology still distracting drivers - WNEM TV 5

Hands-free technology still distracting drivers

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

We get it, you're busy. Often when you're driving you need to make calls, or text, to keep up with life.

But you're smart, and you know it's not safe to take your eyes off the road. So you have a vehicle that uses voice control to do those actions for you.

But now, these devices marketed as safer are proving to be a big distraction.

In a new study by AAA, these hands-free solutions still trigger mental distraction that puts you and others at risk.

The study found after using a voice command, drivers can be distracted for up to 27-seconds after the fact.

To put that in perspective, driving at 25 mph, you can drive the length of three football fields in that amount of time.

But not all cars and devices are the same.

According to the study, the Chevy Equinox had the best score, the voice-technology is the least distracting for drivers.

On the other end, the Mazda 6 proved the most distracting.

As for the device themselves, Google Now was the most user-friendly. Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana were not.

And even limiting yourself to using voice control when you're stopped at a red light doesn't mean you're in the clear, according to AAA spokesperson John Pecchio.

“This groundbreaking research also found that if you're sending a text, placing a call, or even changing the radio using in vehicle voice activated technology at a stop sign or red light,” Pecchio said. “Once the vehicle is in motion there is a strong possibility you will be distracted for up to 27 seconds.”

Don't chalk this up to inexperienced drivers.

The research also showed even experience drivers using the voice commands still had mental distractions.

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