A survey by Ford has found a large proportion of drivers admit to being distracted by changing radio stations, turning on climate control or even texting while behind the wheel.
However, Ford believes it has created a solution for this in the new Ford Focus hatchback and estate, a car it describes as being one of the most high-tec on the market.
The new Ford Focus features voice control, which allows the radio or song to be changed simply by speaking out loud.
The system also extends to turning climate control on and making a phone call, helping distracted drivers keep their eye on the road – and according to research, one in ten drivers agree it is the biggest step forward in safety in the car.
Others ranked airbags and active city stop, which automatically stops the car at low speeds if the system detects and obstacle in the way, as the most important safety feature in the new Ford Focus.
Voice recognition systems are standard on the Ford Focus range from the Edge specification to the highest-specced Titanium X model.
This means all models from the £16,000 Ford Focus Edge will feature the safety technology as standard, including the £17,000 Ford Focus Zetec and £18,750 Ford Focus Titanium.
In future, Ford plans to expand its safety systems with the introduction of Ford SYNC in 2012, a service that will feature emergency call technology to the emergency services if the car is in an accident.
Similar technology has already been introduced to other road cars, in particular the new Peugeot 508 saloon and estate and some of the newer Citroen models such as the Citroen DS4 family car.