Better East Texas: Be smart with smart technology

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Years ago, the VCR was the biggest programming and operational challenge we faced.

And for many of us, the VCR continued to blink 12 o'clock for years until the technology was retired. We now have smart technology in many cars and most phones have some element of voice activation abilities.

But while technology in cars specifically has advanced and entertainment and information functions are controlled by voice, these technologies have not improved driving safety. In fact, multiple studies have shown that even with voice activated systems, drivers are still distracted. We love the thought of a simple command to call or text someone but the human mind just cannot process these demands while safely operating a vehicle.

The functions rob us of critical concentration and we cannot react when the unexpected happens. So, while we have heard hands-free is the safer way to go, we need to reconsider and resist the temptation to communicate through our voice-activated, smart vehicle technology in most instances. It is just not worth it.

Hopefully the word has been delivered that texting while driving is a bad idea and needs to be avoided. Now, we need to seriously consider limiting our hands-free technology in our cars, it is that simple. Hands-free does not equal safer.

So, the next time you are tempted to ask Siri to help you while driving, think again. Be smart with smart technology and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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