A recent study (http://tinyurl.com/yb6tto9j) found that one out of four drivers were on the phone right before an accident. New York officials are even considering using a new device called a “textalyzer” which would allow them to see if a motorist had been using their phone just before a crash.
“Reaction times for texting drivers are 35% slower than the reaction times of focused drivers,” says Karl Volkman, chief technical officer of SRV Network, Inc., a Microsoft Gold Certified partner that offers a variety of IT services. “Meanwhile, drunk drivers have a 12% slower reaction time. This does not mean that drunk driving is safe—however, it does show how dangerous texting while driving truly is.”
While the textalyzer technology is being considered by Gov. Cuomo, many people fear that this will be an invasion of privacy. To that end, many companies have created hands-free technology that can help drivers safely perform tasks while driving. However, a new study has found that not all voice-activated tools are created equal.
The study, which was led by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety, found that Google Now significantly outperformed Siri and Cortana when it came to safely making a phone call or sending a text message while driving. The best cars for voice-activation technology and safety were Chevy Equinox, Buick LaCrosse, and Toyota 4Runner, and the worst was Mazda 6.
“The AAA study helps illustrate the fact that just because is something is hands-free does not mean that it is safe,” says Volkman, “The research found that people could be distracted for the length of up to three football fields as they fiddled with their smartphones or their car’s GPS. That is a significant distance especially as the drivers were going 25 mph.
The reality is that we still have not truly found a safe way to text and use our phones while driving, even with voice-activation. However, we know that drivers are going to continue using their devices behind the wheel. Currently, it’s a scary problem without a concrete solution, but hopefully advancements in technology can make hands-free options safer and easier to use down the line.”