Local reaction to study of hands free texting and driving

Tragic car crashes caused by texting and driving have led headlines in recent years.

So voice texting technology that allows you to speak texts into your car is gaining popularity.

But a study released from AAA Tuesday says even hands free voice texting can be dangerously distracting.

"We still have a tendency to look down and see if what is being read to us is correct," said Captain Charles Lowery Jr. with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

The study says mental distractions can last up to 27 seconds after dialing, changing music, or sending a text via voice command.

These results may contradict many car companies’ recent promotions of their hands free texting features that use technology to send and receive texts.

This chart released by AAA rates hands free texting technology from a 1 of mild distraction to a 5 of very high distraction.

The popular voice app Apple Siri is on the list as well.

The Chevy Equinox which features the latest in hands free voice texting scored best on the list.

It’s safer than Siri but is still listed as a moderate distraction.

Still, the car companies claim the technology is much safer than regular texting.

"Typically on the way into work in the morning time, you can look over and see someone really into their phone, texting or talking without bluetooth," said Mountain View Chevrolet salesman Chris Morgan. "Bluetooth in my opinion is a very safe way to take and receive texts."

The ability to voice text is so fresh on the market, Morgan says customers aren’t requesting it yet.

And law enforcement isn’t quite sure how to address it either.

"The law has not addressed it yet because this is brand new and it’s going to take a little bit before the law addresses it," Lowery said.

But even with the seemingly safe technology a voice command away, the texts can still wait.

"Even where technology is today, I still recommend no phone call, no text is worth your life," Morgan said. "Hands on the wheel. Eyes on the road at all times."

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