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Is Hands-Free Cellphone Use Risk-Free?

Jonathan Hernandez8 months ago

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and today on the blog, we take a look at the potential dangers that involved even hands-free use of cellphone while driving.

Details about Hands-Free Cellphone Use

According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, hands-free cellphone use while driving is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than using your hands while on the cellphone. While many people in the United States, including lawmakers, believe that hands-free is risk-free, the truth is that engaging in a conversation while you are driving, walking, or doing anything else distracts you from whatever task you’re doing while on the phone – regardless of whether or not you have the phone in your hands.

The truth is that talking on the phone distracts you from whatever else you’re doing. Your attention is focused on the conversation and not the task at hand.

A simulation study from the University of Utah determined that drivers talking on the phone got into more accidents, braked later than necessary, and ran more red lights and stop signs, no matter whether or not they were holding the phone in their hands or using a hands-free device. The research and study further suggested that using a hands-free device may actually distract people more than holding the phone in one’s hands.

What Can We Do about Cellphone Use?

What can be done about the use of the cellphone while driving? One option is to do what Japan does – a blanket ban on all cellphone use while behind the wheel – hands-free or otherwise. Another option is to implement tougher enforcement of the cellphone laws that are already in place in various locations.

Important Information about Risks of Hands-Free Cellphone Use

According to the National Safety Council, there are thousands of wrongful deaths of people in motor vehicle accidents in the United States every year:

  • About 100 people in the United States die every day in motor vehicle accidents.
  • About 26 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve cellphone use – including hands-free cellphone use.
  • New studies suggest that voice-to-text functions on cellphone is even more distracting than typing out text messages by hand.

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