A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that using hands-free devices while driving can be just as distracting as using a handheld device. The technology that is often heralded as the safer alternative to using a cellphone or other handheld device while driving, has proven to have its own distractions.

According to the study, hands-free devices lead to significant mental distractions that are just as dangerous as physically taking your eyes off the road. The study found that driver distraction lasts 15 to 27 seconds after a driver has completed a task like dialing, changing the music or sending a text message through the use of voice commands. This presents a significant and pervasive danger for motorists. If a vehicle is traveling 25 miles per hour, it could travel the length of four football fields in 27 seconds.

The study utilized ten 2015 model year vehicles and three types of smartphone devices, each with its own technology. A total of 257 drivers ages 21 to 70 used voice commands to test the vehicle models and 65 drivers ages 21 to 68 tested the cellphone systems. On a five-point scale, the study ranked each system based on the level of distraction experienced by drivers.

The Mazda 6 had the worst results with the highest level of distraction and a score of 4.6. At 2.4, the Chevrolet Equinox had the lowest rate of distraction. For cellphone systems, Google Now had the best score at 3.0, followed by Apples Siri at 3.4 and Microsoft Cortana at 3.4.

The results of the study may be contrary to what most think about hands-free devices. A separate telephone survey of adults in Virginia revealed that 43 percent of respondents believe that a driver is only distracted for up to 10 seconds while completing a task while driving. Sixty-five percent of Virginia respondents in that study recognize that distracted driving is a problem, stating that they believe that a driver is very distracted while using either a handheld or hands-free device.

Distracted driving can lead to auto accidents that result in serious injuries. If you or someone you love is injured because of the negligence of another driver, contact the trusted car accident lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan for a free consultation.