It's no secret that texting while operating a vehicle is dangerous, but a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic and Safety has revealed that any kind of distracted driving — which includes listening to an audiobook, using a speech-to-text app and talking on the phone — can impair an individual's ability to safely drive a car.
There are three main types of distraction that people can experience while operating a vehicle, states the report. While it has been easy for researchers to study how visual and manual distraction affect people behind the wheel, it has been more challenging for them to determine how cognitive distraction — when one's mind is off of a certain task — factors into driver safety.
According to CBS News, people can develop a sense of tunnel vision when they attempt to concentrate on a certain task while they are driving, meaning that even though they are physically looking at what is in front of them, it may not register in their brain.
"People aren't seeing what they need to see to drive. That's the scariest part to me," the AAA Foundation for Traffic and Safety's president and CEO, Peter Kissinger, told the source. "Police accident investigative reports are filled with comments like the 'looked, but did not see.' That's what drivers tell them. We used to think they were lying, but now we know that's actually true."
The research shows that speech-to-text systems are the biggest contributors to cognitive distraction, which is particularly interesting considering many automobile manufacturers have begun implementing these options and marketing them to potential car buyers. "'Hands free' does not mean risk free," states the study.
It's important for individuals to be safe while they're behind the wheel, as distracted driving can lead to serious consequences. However, if you believe you've been wrongly accused of texting while driving by a responding officer, you can count on The Orr Law Firm, an expert law firm in Denver, to aggressively defend your case.