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You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ') ORDER BY comment_date ASC' at line 3 Will new technology mean the end of audio system distraction? Will new technology mean the end of audio system distraction? - Article Marketing

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Will new technology mean the end of audio system distraction?

By: Dino | Total views: 3525 | Word Count: 785 | Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 - 6:43 PM

We are forever hearing about the number of accidents that are caused on the UK's roads and the desperate need to decrease it. While the most publicised reasons for crashes are likely risk-taking young drivers or drink driving, a substantial proportion of accidents happen because motorists have become distracted while driving. Our ever-busy lives mean that we are always on the go and trying to do more than one thing at once, even when we are sitting in the driving seat. Mobile phones are usually cited as being the main cause of distraction for motorists, which is the reason that the use of hand-held phones while driving has been banned since 2003. Subsequent changes in the law have seen the financial penalties being increased dramatically for committing this offence in order to provide a significant level of deterrence. Drivers now face a fine, points on their licence and a resulting increase in their car insurance if they are caught using a hand-held mobile will driving. However, hand-held mobile phones are not the only distracting thing in the car, although it is one of the few things that action has been taken to legislate specifically against. Motorists who are distracted by eating or drinking, operating a sat nav system, trying to control rowdy children in the back or fiddling with their stereo are all at a higher risk of having an accident than those who are concentrating solely on the task at hand. Most drivers will admit to having been distracted by one or more of these activities at some point because they are such everyday concerns and drivers are just used to carrying them out. One of the commonest activities is changing a CD or the radio station and it is pretty much accepted amongst motorists that this can be done without worrying since stereos have been installed in cars for so long. Unfortunately, even a simple activity such as this can cause motorists to divert their attention from the road for too long. Dangerous situations can develop very quickly on the roads, especially at high speeds, and it only takes a few seconds of looking away for a preventable accident to become unpreventable. An analysis of accidents in America has shown that about 11% of distracted driving accidents occur because the motorist was using his stereo. A run down of accidents in London showed a similar percentage, with 181 accidents occurring in 2002 thanks to the motorist being distracted by action inside the vehicle. Turning to further international research, an Australian study focused on identifying exactly how distracting audio systems are. It found that drivers who were distracted by a car stereo braked 10km per hour slower than those who were not distracted at all. To put this into perspective, the research also tested the reactions of motorists who were using hands-free mobile phones and discovered that these drivers braked 6km per hour slower than those who were concentrating. It is highly unlikely that the authorities will take the extreme action of banning stereos from cars so what can be done to safeguard drivers and put car insurance companies' minds at rest about the danger of distraction? Well, new technology could well hold the answer. Intel has developed a chip that utilises voice recognition technology in order to play songs on demand, which could mean the end of taking your eyes off the road to fiddle around with your stereo to get your favourite CD to play. The company demonstrated the abilities of a prototype chip which selected the correct song to play when asked to. Whilst admitting accents and incorrect pronunciations are one of the most significant hurdles to overcome with this technology, the developers expressed their conviction that the first copies of this software would hit the shelves in 2008. It is likely to be quite some time before this kind of technology is fitted as standard in cars as they roll off the production line. Instead, most consumers wanting to be able to change CD without even touching a button will be able to purchase the device from the shops and then fit it to their car. Whilst this sounds like a blessing for those wanting to see a drop in accident rates – motor insurance (www.duck2watercarinsurance.co.uk) companies and car owners alike – the news isn't all good. This same technology may well be utilised in conjunction with ultra mobile PCs and Bluetooth gateways to allow drivers to access the internet, their calendar and even send emails whilst travelling down the motorway at 70mph. Sadly, it is hard to imagine that this will be less distracting than hitting the fast forward button on your stereo to find your favourite track.

About the Author

Alexandra Gubbins - Duck2Water Car Insurance (www.duck2watercarinsurance.co.uk) Online motor insurance quotes in the UK (www.duck2watercarinsurance.co.uk)

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