Car Voice Systems: A Positive Development or Another Distraction?

Car voice systems are becoming more common in vehicles.

In a perfect world, every driver would avoid all distractions while driving. Yet the reality remains that many Americans continue to use their phones and more behind the wheel.

In an effort to reduce the dangers that poses and to offer customers an enticing new technology feature, auto makers are increasingly including car voice systems in new models. These systems let drivers use voice commands to operate their smartphones and their cars’ infotainment systems.

It seems like a win for road safety, right? From one perspective, it is. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently measured how long drivers’ eyes were off the road when using car voice systems instead of manually operating their devices.

The findings did show that car voice systems help drivers keep their eyes on the road. But they hardly eliminated the problem. And things varied widely depending on a car’s particular system.

Drivers’ eyes were off the road when making phone calls via car voice systems anywhere from three to 14 seconds. What’s more, the average total number of seconds drivers' eyes were off the road when entering an address was even longer.

The IIHS research shows that car voice systems are hardly a solution to the issue of distracted driving. And it raises questions about whether vehicles should even include technology that keeps us constantly connected behind the wheel. See where you stand by reading the source article on

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