Chicago Car Accident Lawyers at Ronaldson & Kuchler Comment on Study about Hands-Free Devices and Distracted Driving

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The founding attorneys at Ronaldson & Kuchler weigh in on the results of an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study determining that hands-free and voice-activated systems increase mental distraction and increase accident risk for drivers in Chicago and across Illinois.

It’s important for drivers to remember that engaging in any activity that takes focus away from the road can be considered distracted driving.

Commenting on a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study that finds hands-free and voice-activated systems do little to reduce distracted driving accident risks, attorney Glenn C. Ronaldson of Ronaldson & Kuchler Law Offices said the study illustrates the need to avoid all types of distractions behind the wheel.

Ronaldson, a Chicago attorney with over 30 years’ experience, based his comments on study results released by AAA on October 7. The report, “Imperfect Hands-Free Systems Causing Potentially-Unsafe Driver Distractions,” warns that hands-free devices may no safer than texting or talking on the phone, or physically using other forms of technology while driving.

“The AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety indicates that three-quarters of drivers believe hands-free mobile technology is safe for drivers to use,” Ronaldson said. “But recent studies by the organization suggest that people who use hands-free devices while driving put themselves and others on the road at immediate risk. It’s important for drivers to remember that engaging in any activity that takes focus away from the road can be considered distracted driving. We have seen first-hand the devastating impact of distracted driving accidents. We know that even a seemingly minor distraction can result in devastating consequences.”

According to the article, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied common types of voice-recognition software that commonly come pre-installed in new vehicles. The study assessed driver distraction by using instrumented test vehicles equipped with heart-rate monitors and other equipment designed to measure reaction times for drivers.

The study found that overall, the accuracy of voice-recognition software “significantly influences” driver distraction rates. In addition, composing texts and emails using in-vehicle technology was more distracting than using systems to listen to messages, with a separate study finding Apple’s Siri voice recognition software to generate a “level 4” level of cognitive distraction for drivers.

According to attorney Mark A. Kuchler, who co-founded Ronaldson & Kuchler Law Offices in 1999, improvements to in-vehicle technology may improve efficiency, but fail to address the larger issue of preventing distracted driving accidents.

“While it’s imperative for technology manufacturers to use these study results to improve upon their own hands-free and voice-activated driving systems, nothing can take the place of safe and defensive driving habits,” said Kuchler. “Even when equipped with technology designed to make multitasking behind the wheel safer, these voice-activated systems only represent the lesser of two evils when it comes to preventing distracted driving accidents. We recommend accident victims who were injured at the hands of a distracted driver contact an attorney immediately to discuss legal options.”

About the Ronaldson & Kuchler
Illinois law firm Ronaldson & Kuchler has earned a reputation for providing quality legal services in the Chicago area. For the past 20 years, the versatile attorneys have fought to protect the rights of personal injury and accident victims in Illinois. In addition to hearing cases involving texting and driving accidents, the legal team handles a variety of other cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction and workplace accidents, workers compensation claims, medical malpractice and legal malpractice.

Ronaldson & Kuchler
205 W Upper Wacker Dr #1615
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 425-2600

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