Voice-Enabled Infotainment Systems, Curb Distracted Driving | The Schafer Law Office

Voice-Enabled Infotainment Systems, Curb Distracted Driving

Driving Texting while driving is illegal in Kentucky when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle. Kentucky House Bill 415, which was signed into law in 2010, bans all drivers of all ages from texting while in a moving vehicle. Sadly, there are still drivers who use their phone to listen to music and to respond to texts and emails.

The dangers of distracted driving
Distracted driving is never okay. This is because letting your mind wander even for a few seconds can put your life and the life of others in danger. Tech companies such as Apple and Google understand that distracted driving is dangerous. In an effort to reduce driving distractions, they are proposing built-in, voice-enabled infotainment systems for cars.

Google Android Auto
With the Android Auto, you’d first need to connect your phone to the audio system via a USB cable. Then, you can listen to your playlist, request directions or send messages to your contacts using the pre-approved apps. You don’t have to take your hands off the wheel to do these functions because the apps will do it for you.

Distracted driving statistics
Distracted driving is the leading factor in most crashes, per the NHTSA. This means that almost 80% of crashes involve a distraction within three seconds before an accident occurs.  In Kentucky, 169 people were killed while 14,000 people were injured in distracted driving-related crashes in 2014. Distracted driving is preventable. All we have to do is put our phones in a place where they won’t distract us. A call or a text can wait. If you must take a call or respond to a text, please pull over into a safe place first.

Are hands-free phones safer than handheld phones while driving?
A study conducted by the University of Utah found that hands-free cell phones are not much safer than handheld phones. Both delay your reaction time. When you use a cell phone while driving, it’s like having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08%! In another study by Carnegie Mellon, Mellon found that driving while using a cell phone reduced the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. The conclusion from both of these studies is that we should avoid using our cell phone while we are driving. There’s just too much risk involved with distracted driving.

Related: Hands-Free Devices May Not Be As Safe As We Thought

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I appreciate that tech companies are doing their part to curbing distracted driving tendencies. In today’s world, it’s hard to not look at your phone when you get a call or text. Google and Apple’s built-in, voice-enabled infotainment system will help keep drivers safe while still letting them connect to their phone. However, drivers still need practice safe driving habits while behind the wheel.

What do you think? Would you use Google or Apple’s built-in, voice-enable infotainment system in your car?