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AAA released study, hands-free technology proves equally distracting

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new report from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that even hands-free technology causes significant distraction to motorists.

According to a release, the research shows that as distractions increase reaction time slows down, brain function is compromised and drivers scan the road less and miss visual cues.

This is the most comprehensive study on hands-free distractions to date, and AAA is pushing to remove potentially distracting items from car models as most cars will be advanced with hands-free technology by 2018.

The research included tools from aviation psychology testing drivers while performing common tasks such as listening to the radio and talking on the phone.

Those conducting the study then rated the mental distractions from 1, being minimal risk, to 3, representing extensive risk.

They found that minor tasks, such as listening to the radio, ranked among the lowest level of distraction at a "1."

Talking on a cellular phone, both on the phone and on a hands-free set, ranked a "2."

Listening and responding to voice activated email features that are built in to the vehicle ranked as the highest distraction at a "3" on the scale of mental workload.

In the future, AAA hopes to work with auto industries to reduce the amount of hands-free or voice-activated features being included in the car's structures and to educate drivers about the importance of staying focused while operating a motor vehicle.

To see a full description of AAA's plans for the future and information about what the research entailed, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com

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