As a major issue facing motorists today, distracted driving practices are getting their fair share of attention. Many recent studies are focusing on the effect different habits can have on drivers, and one from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found hands-free devices that are aimed at increasing safety are actually detrimental to the cause.
Tools such as talk-to-text programs or voice-activated controls often lead to a mental workload that increases reaction time and takes a driver's attention off of the action in front of them. Motorists frequently focus on the technology instead of doing things like scanning the roads or checking out their surroundings, making it less likely they identify danger before an accident happens.
"These findings reinforce previous research that hands-free is not risk-free," said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation. "Increased mental workload and cognitive distractions can lead to a type of tunnel vision or inattention blindness where motorists don't see potential hazards right in front of them."
To keep your attention focused firmly on the roads, drivers should do their best to limit the amount of use voice-activated technology – or any other technology – gets in the car. You can even take steps to disable certain functions of mobile devices, such as taking advantage of the "Do Not Disturb" option on phones to block unimportant messages from getting through when you're behind the wheel.
Improving automobile safety goes far beyond simply eliminating distractions. You need to be sure the vehicle you're driving is capable of meeting the demands of the roads, so if you think there may be an issue with your automobile or simply want to bring it in for a tune up, head to New Jersey State Auto Auction. The auction house's Total Car Care Center caters to the public and can help address any problems a vehicle may have.