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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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RE: In other news...
By kkwst2 on 2/7/2009 2:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, yes. Because the government is a great babysitter, capable of solving all our problems. While you're at it, let's outlaw talking to the person sitting next to you, or listening to CD's. And you certainly shouldn't be allowed to change a CD while driving. Let's make sure all CD players lock the controls while you're driving.

All these laws are a waste of time and unenforceable. These technologies reduce the risk, and should be embraced. Would it be ideal if people didn't use the phone while driving? Maybe, but with good hands-free tech, I don't see how it's worse than talking to someone in the car next to you. I think it's probably better, because many people take their eyes off the road to make eye contact with the people next to them.

The ultimate solution is to take the wheel out of the hands of people and into computer navigation/steering systems. But that's probably a couple decades off. For now, we'll need to look to hands-free technology to minimize the risk. Life is full of risk. It's not the role of government to make your like completely risk-free, and in my book it's not your right to demand it.

RE: In other news...
By mindless1 on 2/7/2009 9:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
You may not see how, but this is what the evidence suggests.

If it were just a matter of the person on the phone risking their own life, then I say let them take that gamble. When it is frequently not the situation, they need a little supervision and encouragement to pay more attention to the road.

That does include not letting oneself get overly distracted by passengers by the way, but let's face it, talking to someone doesn't necessarily require even 2 seconds looking away from the road and if you have an unruly passenger disrupting your driving, once again if it is endangering others on the road besides yourself, you should cease driving until the situation is rectified.

It is my right to demand the police put forth an effort to keep our roads safe, if as it seems, cell phone operation poses the same risk as drunk driving, it should be made illegal. I don't advocate DUI checkpoints nor stopping people to see if they're on the cellphone, but if someone is driving erratically and talking on the phone then by all means let's have a law that we can charge them with violating.

Nobody said taking cell-phones out of the hands of poor drivers makes life completely risk free, but there are already enough wreaks on the roads as-is, with a new generation of more and more elaborate toys in the hands of (especially young drivers) people, some of which can't drive too well without any distractions.

I take it you haven't been in any serious accident that was someone else's fault. Is it much of a consolation that they felt free from government restraint when they slammed into you? Government has to intervene when people don't make responsible choices and it starts causing deaths. "Accident" only goes so far as a concept, we already mandate certain safety standards for automobile operation for a similar reason, that people to keep control of their vehicles regardless of how much they dislike having distractions taken away.

On the other hand, if it were only someone theorizing that maybe cell phones cause more accidents, then by all means I'd say lets step back and get some data first.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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