"Hands Free" Not As Safe As Originally Thought? NEW STUDY - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

"Hands Free" Not As Safe As Originally Thought? NEW STUDY

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WMDT 47 NEWS - For most cell phone users, a hands-free device is a safe alternative in the car.

"I think it's much better than holding my phone and talking," said Juliana Smith of Salisbury, MD.

However, a new study from AAA that analyzes brain activity, says the opposite. Test subjects found that even with their eyes on the road, their brain could not do it all.

"Your brain is so overloaded with these talk to text tasks or talking on a cell phone that you have very little residual capability to attend to the roadway," said Joel Cooper from the University of Utah.

According to the research, drivers who use hands-free devices are at least two times more distracted than those who use a phone to talk or send messages.

Many companies have been marketing the "speech-to-text-in-car" systems for new car buyers, but they are reportedly even worse. The drivers are three times more distracted.

Many local drivers said they use the hand-free devices because they do not want to get in trouble. In Delaware, the "Phone in one Hand, Ticket in the other" campaign cited more than 2,000 drivers in just 2 weeks in April.

"I don't want to get a ticket," said Tony Jenkins of Fruitland, MD. "It's against the law to use your phone when driving and this really comes in very good."

With the current laws, drivers in Delaware, along with Maryland and Virginia, will not get in trouble for using these hand-free devices, which is why AAA wants new restrictions.

AAA is urging the automotive and electronics industries to come up with technology that limits use of voice-actiniae technology to just basic activities such as windshield wipers or climate control.

We want to know what you think about this study. Does it make you think twice about using hands-free devices?

Head to our Facebook page to let us know.

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