"Voice Activated" a Big Distraction While Driving

AAA released a study last week about the potential dangers of using voice-activated devices while operating a motor vehicle. The whole idea that hands-free mobile devices are adding to the problem is a bit ironic. But as it turns out, it's not the phone or the dashboard infotainment system that is actually the problem, but how the human interacts with it.


"The systems let drivers do things like tune the radio, send a text message, or make a phone call while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, but many of these systems are so error-prone or complex that they require more concentration from drivers rather than less," reported the Associated Press.

Anyone who hasn't mastered the artful way to address Siri could understand. And let's not pile on Siri, even though the report stated Siri was the hardest interface with which drivers interacted; she was the first of her kind. Think of her as the Wii of motion video games or the Hillary/Norgay of Everest-not the best ever, but served its purpose for its time.

"Twice test drivers using Siri in a driving simulator rear-ended another car," the A.P. reported.

Along with the University of Utah, AAA had 162 drivers undergo "Cognitive Distraction Phase II" testing, where they would speak commands and try to accomplish tasks through the platforms. Time and time again the drivers failed because the device would not listen to the command.

If hands-free tech isn't working for you, switch methods to ensure your focus is on the road.

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