Hands free devices sound safer, but they can be distracting - AmericaNowNews.com

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Hands free devices sound safer, but they can be distracting

Using a hands-free device to talk on the phone, text or send e-mails while driving may sound safer, but a new study says it can still be distracting to drivers.

The study, done for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, reveals voice activation can overload a driver's attention span, hurting their ability to drive safely.

More than 70 percent of Americans think hands-free devices are safer.

"It used to be if you saw someone drifting out of their lane, you would have thought they might have been drinking ... or tired," said driving instructor Shannon Pitner.

Pitner has taught teens how to drive for more than 30 years. He said over time, the discussion of distracted driving has shifted from loud radios to texting and now to hands-free devices.

"When you're driving, you have tunnel vision when you're talking on the phone," said Pitner.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's study reveals that voice activation can be more of a distraction than texting.

"Hands-free does not mean distraction free. It does not mean risk free," said Pitner.

The study showed that driving and checking email or Facebook while using a voice-activated system requires more concentration, meaning a lesser focus on the road even with both hands on the wheel.

"The streets have gotten a lot scarier now because of that," said Pitner.

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