Many new mobile devices can use "voice-to-text" technology to
replace typing at a keyboard and thus, the manufacturers claim, reduce
Most of these
services are compatible with most mobile devices, with little or no additional
hardware needed. Voice on the Go lets you call the company's local
phone number, use your headset or put your phone on speaker, and you can
then use voice to perform most e-mail, text and social media features.
Vlingo is more limited, but charges no monthly fee. Other services include
Drive Safe.ly, Voice Assist and Jott Assistant.
Even though they may allow you to keep your hands on the wheel, hands-free
mobile technology may be more dangerous than a hand-held mobile device.
Recently, a research team at the University of Utah used in-cabin cameras,
EEGs and a specialized Detection-Response-Task device to measure the effects
of hands-free technology. The results were rather alarming.
Instead of decreasing distracted driving in Kern County, hands-free devices actually
increased distracted driving by 50 percent. The increased mental workload from this onslaught of information
meant that while the driver's hands may have been on the wheel, the
driver's mind was elsewhere, leading to missed visual cues and slower
reaction time. AAA suggested that hands-free technology be limited to
core driving functions, such as operating the windshield wipers, electronic
communication be automatically disabled while the car is in motion and
drivers take additional safety and education classes.
Google Glass ticket may have been only the beginning. Expect the state to pass additional
laws against using hands-free devices while driving or operating a motor
vehicle in Tulare County.
Reasonably speaking, we know that people are on the go and will use technology
to some extent to accomplish more. But be reasonable out there in your
use of technology. Perfectly legal activity can still be dangerous. You
can try to do too much.
But if you find yourself with a ticket for your use of technology that
could adversely impact your ability to take care of your family or pay
your car insurance, contact my office for help.