WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 9: Lexus of Watertown Vehicle Technology Specialist, Orquidania Tejada demonstrates the features of the Lexus Enform App Suite on the RX 450h hybrid crossover SUV on January 9, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. The Enform App Suite is available on most Lexus 2013 models. About a year ago Lexus established technology centers to dealerships across the country with specialist to help car owners with the dashboard features and the interaction with smartphones and
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The latest gadgets packed into your new car's dashboard almost make it look like the cockpit of the space shuttle, but all that technology could be putting your life at risk.
A new study from AAA finds voice-activated technologies in cars can dangerously affect a driver's attention.
Researchers at the University of Utah placed special skull caps on drivers to measure their brain activity and reaction times when they tried to do several things at once.
The study found hands-free is not risk-free.
Researchers conclude that talking on a cell phone hands-free is a moderate risk and listening to voice-activated email presents high risk.
Infotainment systems in vehicles are expected to increase five-fold by 2018. That could make the problem of distracted driving even worse.
AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger said, "Increased mental workload and cognitive distractions can lead to a type of tunnel vision or inattention blindness where motorists don't see potential hazards right in front of them."
AAA wants carmakers to limit voice-activated technology in vehicles, or disable that technology when a car is in motion.