In recent years, many drivers have started to utilize hands-free devices, such as wireless headsets, in order to remain compliant with many state laws that make it illegal to talk and/or text while driving. But now studies have emerged that show hands-free driving is not as safe as we initially thought.
This revelation has led to tougher regulations for mobile phone use in general. We have also seen states taking stricter stances on handheld phone usage, taking the no texting and driving ban even further by completely banning a driver’s use of their phones – which includes scrolling, swiping, texting, and even holding a phone in one’s hand.
So what makes hands-free driving dangerous?
RESEARCH SAYS HANDS-FREE TALKING JUST AS DISTRACTING
Studies have already established the dangers of texting while driving and hand-held phone use while driving. But now researchers have found that when drivers have hands-free conversations while driving, mental distractions are just as intense as when they use a hand-held device. This can lead to compromised cognitive attention and a greater likelihood of crashing.
Drivers who talk on the phone while driving (hands free or not), are more likely to:
- Have delayed reaction times
- Brake abruptly and more frequently
- Only focus on a limited section of the road
- Be cognitively occupied
- Have decreased peripheral vision and fail to notice hazards in their mirrors and windshields (including pedestrians crossing)
Despite numerous news articles and studies being published on the dangers of talking while driving, drivers are still unaware of how deadly multitasking is when you are operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices and the use of voice-activated functions are still in popular use. One of the biggest hurdles is perhaps getting drivers to stay focused on the road and remove distractions, even in places where hand-held talking is already illegal. States should enforce stricter laws surrounding cell phone use in vehicles and enact tougher penalties for drivers who violate the law.
SAFE DRIVING TIPS – KEEP DISTRACTIONS AT BAY
- Put away electronic devices
- Do not text, browse the web, or hold your phone while driving
- If you need your cellphone to navigate, mount it on your dashboard
- Set all GPS apps and routes prior to driving off
- Use your cellphone only during an emergency
- Minimize chatting with passengers
- Do not put on makeup or grooming while driving
- Secure your pets before driving
INJURED BY A DISTRACTED DRIVER? CALL US.
Accidents caused by distracted drivers are only increasing, despite cars being safer. If you were injured by a distracted driver in a car accident or another motor vehicle accident, contact King Law for guidance.
The firm’s Rochester car accident attorney is experienced at helping injured clients fight for full and fair compensation following an injury. Drivers who choose to text or driver distracted should be held liable for their negligence. We are here to walk you through the claims process and to protect your rights. Start with a free consultation and have our team review the details of your case.