Hands-free devices, especially ones that convert speech-to-text for text messaging while driving, aren't always safer to use behind the wheel, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Researchers with the Center for the Prevention of Distracted Driving at the University of Utah set up drivers with a brainwave-measuring device and had them simulate driving with several different types of distractions, such as talking to a passenger, listening to the radio, standard and hands-free cellphone conversations and using speech-to-text email. These so-called "cognitive distractions" can be dangerous, the study suggests.
Drivers who used a hands-free device to make a cellphone call were only slightly less cognitively distracted than those who used a handheld cellphone. Talking to a passenger was deemed equally distracting. Those who used speech-to-text devices were three times as distracted as someone who was driving with no distractions or listening to the radio.
For more on the study read the U.S. News and World Report at:
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