mentaldistractionlevelsThe idea of using hands-free kits or tools like voice assistants such as Siri is so that drivers can keep their eyes on the road while at the same time attending to phone calls or notifications without having to reach for their phone. In theory this should make drivers less distracted, right?

Well according to a new research done by the AAA Foundation (via MacRumors), it seems that driving and using voice-based technologies actually results in an even greater distraction. The study took 45 drivers and asked them to complete a variety of in-car tasks using voice assistants, and it was found that Siri was the worst amongst the lot and caused the highest level of mental distraction.

This is apparently due to Siri’s high complexity and low intuitiveness compared to alternative voice assistants. The researchers measured Siri’s interactions when it came to sending and receiving text messages, emails, updating social media, and whatnot. “Common issues involved inconsistencies in which Siri would produce different responses to seemingly identical commands. In other circumstances, Siri required exact phrases to accomplish specific tasks, and subtle deviations from that phrasing would result in a failure.”

It is admittedly true that compared to the likes of Google Now, Siri isn’t exactly the most intuitive of the two, but we suppose at the end of the day, perhaps putting our phones away while we drive might be a better and safer idea.

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