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Sync drivers were much less likely to swerve out of their lanes than non-Sync drivers

There have been numerous studies that have shown that distracted drivers can be as dangerous on the road as drunk drivers. Some recent studies have shown that texting while driving may actually be just as dangerous as driving intoxicated.

In an effort to reduce the distractions that drivers are confronted with while driving some stated have instituted hands free laws that require drivers to use hands free kits to make calls while driving. Ford has a system called Sync in some of its vehicles that offers all sorts of hands free technologies to make driving safer while still allowing drivers to stay in contact and listen to music from digital devices.

Ford commissioned a new study that has shown significant differences in how distracted drivers are when using its Sync system compared to not using it. For the study, Ford had drivers select a phone number or choose a song on their MP3 players using Sync compared to doing the same thing manually.

Drivers who did the tasks manually had their eyes off the road for about 25 seconds while drivers using Sync had their eyes off the road for approximately two seconds. Participants in the study were asked to dial ten-digit phone numbers, call a specific person form the digital phone book, receive a call while driving, play a specific song, and review and respond to text messages.

The time eyes were off the road was measured by the researchers for drivers using both methods. Ford says that drivers performing these tasks manually swerved out of their lane 30 percent of the time while Sync users never swerved out of their lane. Ford has also announced a new 911 Assist feature for Sync that can dial 911 post-crash automatically.

Dr. Louis Tijerina from Ford said in a statement, "These real-world results indicate that SYNC's voice-interface offers substantial advantages compared to using a handheld device to do the same task."



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I don't buy it
By Jimbo1234 on 2/6/2009 1:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
Hands free phones have not shown to increase safety. It's not the act of holding the phone that makes you distracted when driving but the conversation with the person on the other end that keeps blabbing away oblivious to what your situation may be.

How SYNC solves the problem of idiots texting while driving is also a mystery to me.

My solution to the texting problem: Since most cell phones have GPS in them, if it detects that the speed is over 5 MPH, disable text functions. How can it tell if it's the driver rather than a passenger texting? I don't care. Turn it off anyway.




RE: I don't buy it
By MadMan007 on 2/6/2009 2:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
You're right that it's the mental attention that is the distraction, not whether it's voice activated or hands-free. But it's alo undeniable that not having to look away from the road is a good thing.

What's really interesting is the same distraction does not happen when talking with someone in the car.


RE: I don't buy it
By Jimbo1234 on 2/6/2009 2:02:15 PM , Rating: 3
That's because they see what you see on the road. When there is something that causes you to take notice and adjust your driving, they do too. So they pause the conversation to let you focus on what's important, because if you crash, they're going with you. The same cannot be said for someone in another location on the phone.


RE: I don't buy it
By Imaginer on 2/6/2009 6:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
Great idea and all disabling texting while the phone is GPS located to move over 5MPH but what about passengers on a bus or train? Monorail? Any form of mass transit?


RE: I don't buy it
By Jimbo1234 on 2/9/2009 10:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't that be sweet too?


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