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AAA: Hands-Free Texting More Distracting Than Talking On Cellphone

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STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Using voice commands to send text messages and emails from behind the wheel is actually more distracting and dangerous than talking on a cellphone, according to a new AAA study.

President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Peter Kissinger told KNX 1070 that the company evaluated the cognitive distraction of drivers on a five-point scale.

“We looked at voice-activated technology, the kind that you can go voice-to-text or voice-to-email, and unfortunately, we found those to be a level three distraction, higher than cell phones, and the most cognitively distracting of anything that we investigated,” he said.

Kissinger said the company is asking car manufactures and the electronic industry, which market the voice commands as a safer alternative for drivers, to take part in the second phase of the research.

An estimated 62 billion cars are expected to have voice command technology by 2018.

“The bottom line is, this is sort of a warning call to all of us to not put much more technology in the vehicles until we are absolutely sure that it does in fact provide a safe driving environment for the driver,” he said.

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