By Emily Raunig


The world is now familiar with the dangers of texting and driving. However, we still see drivers getting distracted behind the wheel. According to the American Safety Council, one of the ways automotive companies have tried to reduce texting and driving is through hands-free devices. These devices include voice-activated controls, so drivers don’t have to type on their phones.


However, studies from the American Auto Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety show that these devices might not be that helpful at reducing distracted driving. Here are the results and why new AI systems might not work as they’re intended.


Results of the AAA’s Research on Voice-activated Systems

The American Auto Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety rated voice-activated systems on a five-point scale. Category 1 starts as a mild distraction while driving, and Category 5 is a very high distraction. Based on this scale, Google Now has the lowest score of 3.0, and Microsoft Cortana has the highest with a 3.8 rating. Even the less complicated hands-free devices in a vehicle are proven to distract a driver. According to USA Today, research showed that touch-screen systems can cause drivers to get too distracted.


The research found that people using hands-free devices while driving were distracted mentally for up to 15 seconds after completing a task. This means people can drive for 27 seconds while distracted after using a voice-activated device in their vehicle.


While these new systems may not be the safest method, there’s hope that devices will be safer if they are easier to use. It is most likely the case with technology evolving that, new systems will be easier to use for drivers and take less of a mental toll on them. Right now, drivers with their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road are still distracted by these complicated systems. In the future, these AI devices might become more helpful if they are more user-friendly.


How to Drive Safely with your Hands-Free Devices

If you have Hands-Free Devices, ensure you take the proper precautions before getting on the road.

  • Set up your device and familiarize yourself with it before you hit the road.
  • Try only to use it for emergencies.
  • If you find yourself confused on the road, stop using it immediately.
  • Make sure to have auto insurance in case of any emergencies.


If you have questions about auto insurance, contact TrustPoint Insurance & Real Estate today.