Distracted Driving: Are Hands-Free Phones Just as Risky?

According to a recent study conducted by the Journal of Safety Research, hands-free electronic devices may not be as safe as the general public thinks they are. Generally speaking, hands-free phones are marketed as a safe alternative to talking on your hand-held cell phone or texting behind the wheel. Yes, cell phone usage is responsible for thousands of care accidents every year – but talking with a hands-free phone can be distracting, too.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers can be distracted in three ways: cognitively, manually or visually. Additionally, about 18% of distraction-related, fatal car accidents are caused by cell phones. Texting or using a manual phone can be distracting in all three ways. Not only do you take your eyes off the road to dial/text, but you are mentally distracted by someone's voice on the other end of the phone.

In reality, hands-free devices can be distracting, too. Even if you don't' take your hands off the wheel to dial or text, you are still cognitively dividing your attention between driving and a conversation. According to the Journal of Safety Research, any type of phone usage impairs the driver's ability to drive. In fact, texting while driving is comparable to driving drunk. While using a hands-free device may not be as crippling as sending or receiving a text message, it can be distracting – even dangerous.

At Zinda Law Group, we believe that drivers have a responsibility: to operate their vehicles in a way the preserves the safety and wellbeing of every other motorist on the road. Distract driving of any kind can cause accidents and injuries. If you've been hurt by a distracted driver, contact an attorney from Zinda Law Group today. We are experienced in all types of personal injury cases and can help you.