Does Siri Pose A Real Danger When Driving?

The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) recently warned that the iPhone 4S' digital assistant, Siri, could be dangerous for drivers as it is too distracting.

The NTSB recommended that the use of hands-free and hands-on devices be banned while driving, and although this cannot stand as an enforceable law, the recommendation may influence decision makers.

They accompanied the recommendation issued last week, with a fact sheet to prove the seriousness of the situation. According to the document, "drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment" and more than 3,000 people died in car crashes caused by distracted drivers.

However, some studies on this matter are contradictory. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's report, the number of traffic fatalities caused by distraction affected crashes declined in 2010 (to 3,092) compared to the previous year (5,474).

Needless to say, using a mobile phone behind the wheel is not the only distraction a driver has to face. However, statistics put to one side, it is obvious that emailing, texting, playing Angry Birds while driving IS dangerous, but at the same time, a ban on phone use altogether (including 'hands free') has little chance of being applied in the real world.