Car Accident Lawyers in Baltimore: Voice-Activated Technology Less Safe Than Hand-Held Devices

In many surveys, drivers confess that they use hand-held devices like cellphones and engage in texting, even when these activities are illegal in their state. While law enforcement and highway safety agencies are pushing for stricter penalties for using hand-held devices, car companies and the technology industry are moving ahead of the curve, touting voice-activated technology as a safer alternative.

As it turns out, cars with fully wired dashboards may be more dangerous. The American Automobile Association (AAA) released a study in June 2013 showing that using a voice-activated device is a serious cognitive distraction. Researchers used eye-scanning instruments to measure attentiveness in a simulated driving situation to compare the following activities:

  • Listening to books on tape
  • Talking on a hand-held phone
  • Talking on a voice-activated phone

The researchers were surprised to find that speaking into a device was the most distracting. For instance, these drivers were less likely to notice a pedestrian crossing the street. Giving verbal instructions to a machine apparently requires more concentration than having a conversation with another person.

The AAA was pessimistic that their study results would make any difference in the marketing of speech-to-text technology. In fact, by 2019, half of all new cars are expected to have built-in voice recognition devices. Distracted driving is as much of a danger as drunk driving, but proving negligence in these cases requires different investigation skills because there are no lab tests to rely on. Accidents caused by a driver distracted by a voice-activated device will also require car accident lawyers in Baltimore to adopt new skills and strategies. Contact LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. today for a free legal consultation.