Drivers may want to think twice before using the hands-free cell phone technology that has become increasingly available in newer vehicles. An extensive study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety took a closer look at the effect of cognitive or mental distractions on drivers as they use these hands-free systems to make calls, send texts, or use the internet. The study reports that the brain’s mental workload is still increased to dangerous levels when performing these tasks despite avoiding the distractions of manual cell phone use. Drivers in the study demonstrated both slower reaction times and an inability to recognize visual cues on the road. The AAA Foundation calls for hands-free cell phone users to be aware of such risks and hopes that auto manufacturers may reassess the installation of these systems into vehicles.
For the full article on the study from USA Today, please click the following link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/12/aaa-hands-free-texting-calling-driving-safety/2411309/