Car accidents due to the use of smartphones are not uncommonly seen in the news. To avoid this, people have come up with new technology which allows drivers to speak on the phone and type a message without actually removing their hands from the steering wheel. This development is certainly an upgrade, but it does not necessarily eliminate the risk of an accident.
The American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study in 2013 that showed that using hands-free devices does not reduce the likelihood of an accident. When driving, your focus and attention should be on the road only. If you have been in an accident, consult an attorney for answers to personal injury FAQ.
Do hands-free devices result in less distraction while driving?
Hands-free devices were created to decrease distraction while driving and allow drivers to take important phone calls and text messages. However, it is only a myth that these devices can increase safety on the road.
While your hands and eyes may still be on the road, your cognitive focus may be elsewhere. When you see that someone has sent you a text message while driving, you are urged to know what information it contains. Then, you have the urge to text them back. While you can do it using hands-free technology, your mind would still be distracted thinking about your reply.
Similarly, using hands-free technology to listen to audio or talk on the phone can still result in cognitive distraction. This is because you would be focused on what the audio or the person on the phone is saying.
Researchers have found that engaging in any other activity, even if hands-free, results in an increase in the mental workload of the driver. The driver will stop scanning the road and checking his mirrors for potential hazards because they are too focused on what the audio in their phone is saying.
This can significantly slow down the driver’s reaction time. Some even miss things right before them, such as pedestrians and road signs.
The dangers of distracted driving
The dangers of distracted driving are no different than the dangers of driving while operating a hands-free device. You could still get into a catastrophic car accident and cause injuries to yourself and the other parties involved. The dangers do not decrease with new technology, even though many people like to believe the opposite.