Some Utah researchers believe they have discovered a way to better convey directions to distracted drivers than listening to a fellow passenger or a GPS system bark out directions.

The new system give a little tug on your right or left finger through the steering wheel when you need to turn. The University of Utah researchers stress that this is not meant to enable more cell phone talking while driving, which they say is unsafe. There's just a lot of background noise to tune out – from crying children, to the radio to street sounds.

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It's just, perhaps, a better way to ensure that drivers follow directions and don't create unsafe situations from sudden lane changes, etc. It could also be a better system for those hard of hearing.

The system could also be adapted to a walking cane for blind people.

"It has the potential of being a safer way of doing what's already being done – delivering information that people are already getting with in-car GPS navigation systems," said the study's lead author, William Provancher, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, in a statement.

It works when drivers put their fingers on a bad that gently grips the skin and moves it when a turn is coming.

The researchers tested the system by having people driver simulators while talking on a cell phone and not talking while using a GPS system and the new touch system. Drivers talking on cells followed directions more of the time on the new system.

Think this would make roads safer and make directions easier to follow, or just encourage bad behavior while driving? Would it be more or less necessary since many states -- like Maryland (Oct. 1) -- do or will require a hands-free device to talk on your cell phone?

Photo courtesy of the University of Utah

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