AAA study finds voice-activated features also distracting

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Jun 16, 2013 9:09 AM

(Philadelphia) -- A new study by AAA is raising concerns about the use of voice-activated technology in some cars.

The automobile club's research finds listening and responding to in-vehicle email and social networking while driving can be more risky than talking on a cell phone -- even if it's hands-free.

AAA Mid Atlantic Spokeswoman Jenny Robinson says the systems are very distracting.

"Even if you're not actually taking your hand and your fingers and using your Facebook and your email that way, just the fact that you're thinking about it, that you're using your brain to think about what are you going to say in an email, what are you going to post on your Facebook or Twitter, that's the problem," Robinson says. "That's why it's not safe."

AAA hopes automakers will limit some of the functions of the new technology while the car is in motion.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is skeptical about the report and says more research should be done.

Pennsylvania has a texting-while-driving ban, but no restrictions on cell phone calling while driving.

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