Talking to your car?? What?
Yes – consumers are demanding more and more advanced computer technology for their cars – and much of that technology is voice-activated.
According to a just published study from the Applied Cognition Lab at the University of Utah – that technology – while “cool” – is making our roads even more dangerous and car accidents more likely. Eight million cars are now outfitted with this technology and that number is expected to rise to 62 million by 2018.
This same research team had previously found that drivers using hands-free or hand-held cell phones are as impaired and as dangerous as drunken drivers at the legal limit.
The new research on voice-activated technology in cars shows that drivers distracted by this technology in their automobiles tend to enter a tunnel vision state or develop what is called “inattention blindness”. Inattention blindness produces drivers less aware of what is going on around them and less likely to check their mirrors. A driver distracted in this fashion will often miss other cars, bikes and pedestrians with predictably bad consequences.