purchase, george & murphey.

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Erie Car Accident Lawyers Effect Of Hands Free Devices

June 13, 2013

As Pennsylvania car crash attorneys, we know that distracted driving isn’t limited to hand-held devices.  Now, a new AAA study confirms that even “Hands-Free” devices pose a significant risk for distraction.

Automakers are now incorporating voice command technology in new cars.  The technology allows drivers to use their voice to control auto functions like wipers and HVAC and, more problematically, to send text and e-mail messages.  While any activity that tends to take a driver’s mind, eyes or hands off the task of driving can be dangerous (as any good Pennsylvania injury lawyer knows), it is this “voice-to-text” technology that drew the attention of the AAA.

Researchers at the University of Utah found that these new speech-to-text systems require greater concentration by drivers than other distracting behavior like talking on the phone, talking to a passenger or listening to the radio.

In fact, the study showed that drivers using speech-to-text technology are three times more distracted. The problem, researchers found, is that the use of the technology causes cognitive distraction that causes their brain to fail to register what is plainly visible. 

“People are actually not seeing what’s going on on the side of the road. They’re not seeing the person standing at the crosswalk waiting to cross or the stop sign,” said AAA senior researcher Dr. Steven Bloch. “…(E)ven things that happen right in front of them they’re losing track of.”

For the last several years, the Erie car accident lawyers of Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have been giving presentations in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Police about the dangers of texting and driving.  We’ve spoken at most of Erie County’s high schools and several large employers to educate drivers about the extraordinary risk posed by texting.  Now, new technology may make drivers believe they are “safe” by using hands-free alternatives to traditional texting when, in fact, they are still significantly increasing their risk of being involved in a serious Pennsylvania car accident.

Contact a Pennsylvania Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation

People injured in Pennsylvania car crashes must navigate their way through a complicated and sometimes hostile environment with powerful insurance companies who do not have their best interests at heart.  The Erie car accident attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can help if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Pennsylvania car accident.  Call today for a free, no-strings attached consultation at our toll free number: 814-273-2010