Is Using a Hands-Free Cell Phone Considered Distracted Driving?
With cell phones and other mobile devices becoming increasingly prevalent in daily life, many states have made it illegal for drivers to talk or text using a handheld cell phone or other device. However, there are no laws that prohibit a driver from using hands-free devices, such as Bluetooth. Recent research shows, however, that even hands-free devices can be dangerous while driving a vehicle.
Are Hands-Free Devices Really Safer?
According to the National Safety Council. Approximately 26 percent of all car crashes involve a driver who was talking on the phone and some of those drivers were using a hands-free device. One reason that even hands-free devices are not safe while driving is that the brain quickly toggles between tasks, but cannot do two things at once.
In fact, the area of the brain that processes moving images decreases as much as one-third when a driver is on the phone. Recent studies have found that drivers who were talking on any type of phone missed seeing 50 percent of the things around them. Consider how difficult it is to read a book or watch a television show while talking on the phone.
Driving takes considerably more concentration than either of those activities. Many people also use voice-to-text options while driving, believing it is safer, yet new studies show that this is even more dangerous than typing texts by hand.
Talking on Cell Phone vs. Talking with Passenger
Many times, those who use hands-free devices say that talking on their phone is no less distracting than talking to a passenger in the front or back seat. If the other passenger is an adult, they are another set of eyes inside the vehicle, pointing out road hazards that a driver may miss.
In addition, an adult passenger is likely to notice when traffic or road conditions are dangerous and stop talking so that the driver can concentrate. Even children can be told to be quiet when road conditions are challenging so that the driver can concentrate.
Hands-Free is not Risk-Free
Although hands-free devices are safer than handheld devices, they are not risk-free. There are still dangers involved when a driver does not fully concentrate on the road. Car crashes are the number one cause of unintentional deaths in the United States and about 100 people die in crashes each day.
At any given moment, nine percent of drivers are talking on cell phones and this can lead to driver distraction that can cause accidents. Therefore, experts recommend that drivers avoid talking on the phone or texting at all when operating a vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a driver who was using a hands-free device at the time of the crash, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have regarding a personal injury. If someone you love has died after such an accident, you may also qualify for a wrongful death claim. Complete the simple query form or call us at 1-800-Lundy Law today.