Ford bases this assessment on the fact that Sync uses voice commands, which lead drivers to take their eyes off the road for an average of two seconds per commute, as opposed to 25 seconds for someone using a standard MP3 player or phone.
Ford tested 25 drivers by giving them simple tasks, like dialing a 10-digit number, locating a person in a digital phone book, receiving a call, finding a specific song and text messaging. The researchers measured eyes-off-the-road time, swerving out of lanes, speed changes and differences in attentiveness while performing these tasks.
While Ford’s claim that Sync drivers never swerved from their lanes — and that those not using Sync left their lanes 30% of the time — may be true, it also leaves room for skepticism. As we’ve reported before, talking on the phone hands-free is just as dangerous as holding a cell to your ear. While your eyes-off-the-road time may decrease with Sync, it’s the talking on the phone in the first place that’s the distraction.
Oh, and no matter what Ford found in this study, please, please, please do not text while you drive.