Since the adoption of texting and talking bans in many states nationwide, hands-free devices have become a popular choice for drivers. In fact, many drivers use hands-free devices because of the safety factor. According to a poll by the National Safety Council, 80% of drivers believe that using a hands-free device is safer than using a hand-held device– but research shows these assumptions to be false. Experts say that hands-free driving is not safer, does not reduce distractions for drivers, and that it can be just as dangerous as having a phone in your hand.
Why Hands-Free Driving Is Dangerous
Studies show that when drivers take phone calls (with or without a hands-free device), the mental distractions can have detrimental effects on one’s ability to react to their surroundings. Drivers have slower reaction times when having phone conversations (hands-free or hand-held), and they are more likely to miss objects in their windshields and mirrors because of limited peripheral vision when talking on the phone.
Talking while driving causes the brain to multi-task, which can divert one’s cognitive attention away from driving. This is because drivers are concentrating on the conversation rather than on the road. Regardless of whether a driver is using a hand-held or hands-free device, the level of distraction and the risks are the same.
Distracted Driving Accidents Continue to Rise
Distracted driving is a problem that continues to plague cities across the nation. According to the National Safety Council, around 27% of car crashes were caused by cell phone use. The overall number of distracted driving accidents continue to grow every year. Newer cars also have built-in wireless options, which encourages drivers to use their phones while they drive.
Many fail to realize that sending a simple text or adjusting a playlist can cause serious crashes. Young people in particular are at the greatest risk of being distracted, as younger drivers tend to overestimate their ability to multitask, have less experience in driving, and they are more likely to use their phones while behind the wheel.
Tips to Help Minimize Distractions
- Avoid using your phone while driving
- Only use your phone in an emergency. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.
- Keep social conversations to a minimum
- Properly secure pets before driving
- Before driving off, have all your navigation apps set up first
- Take care of personal grooming before leaving the house
- Do not multi-task while driving
Hurt by a Distracted Driver?
Despite cars being safer than they have been in the past, accidents continue to rise, mainly because of distracted drivers. If you were injured by a distracted driver, call Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn to learn more about your rights and options for compensation. Our San Francisco car accident attorneys provide effective and dedicated representation to the injured and their families all across the Bay Area. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please call (415) 940-7176. We can discuss your case, your rights, and other details about your case.