Voice activated controls are designed to be a safer way to utilize cell phones and radios while driving by keeping our eyes on the road. But a new AAA study suggests these infotainment systems are more distracting than actually using our hand-held devices.
Matt Winfield of Frei Chevrolet in Negaunee says, not as a salesman, but, as a consumer with voice activation in his own car that he disagrees.
"Push one button right on the steering wheel, you keep your hands at nine and three o'clock on the wheel, and then you say what you want to happen," says Winfield. "We don't have to do anything but drive the car down the road."
AAA says nine million vehicles in the United States have voice-activated systems in their cars, and by 2018, that number will accelerate to 62 million. The study suggests although eyes are on the road, the mind is preoccupied.
"You may see objects, vehicles, situations in front of you as you move down the roadway, however, you do not react as quickly," says Sgt. Kevin Dowling with Michigan State Police.
Law enforcement encourage driving to be the only thing done when behind the wheel.
"The more things you can manipulate, whether it be by voice or hand control, the more attention it takes off what's in front of you on the roadway," Dowling says. "It's important to keep "100 percent of your focus on driving."