Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that he won’t be calling for restrictions on hands-free systems, such as Ford’s SYNC, until there is further government research. The NHTSA is currently investigating whether such systems pose a ‘cognitive distraction’ to drivers. It is argued by some that phone calls can distract drivers, regardless of whether one’s hands are on the wheel.
“We’re going to work on the cognitive part of this problem. We’re doing a study,” LaHood told reporters at an event in Yonkers, N.Y. “We base our solutions on data and before I or anyone else gets up and starts talking about ‘hands-free this’ or ‘hands-free that,’ or Sync or whatever, we want to have good data to back it up.”
Ford spokesman Alan Hall said that his company is committed to helping drivers perform certain tasks to which they are prone to while driving, in a safer way. “Our research, supported by third-party researchers, demonstrates that the most dangerous distraction in the car is one that takes your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, such as reading a map and manually controlling your mobile phone or digital music player.” Hall said.
DISCUSSION POINT: Do systems such as SYNC cause a new distraction?
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News