A researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is about to publish two studies on driver distraction. Both will illuminate the hazards of drivers who spend too much time fussing with car gadgets and not enough time focusing on the road.
Donald L. Fisher, an engineer who runs the Human Performance Lab at UMass-Amherst, found that drivers who used an iPod while driving on a simulator looked away from the road for at last two full seconds, long enough to increase the risk of a car accident by a factor of three.
Another finding from the study was using a voice-activated system makes drivers less likely to take their eyes of the road for a dangerous period of time. The Boston Globe suggests that drivers can also decrease the risk of a car accident by presetting a song line-up so drivers don’t have to adjust iPods or letting the passengers handle the playlist.
Study points to hazard of driver iPods, Boston Globe, October 5, 2008
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