The Illusion of Safe Hands-Free Devices
The implementation of bluetooth and other wireless technology to enable hands-free use of cell phones in cars has been widely heralded as a safety-first innovation that can dramatically reduce distracted driving. Some states that have enacted cell phone bans have even included exemptions for hands-free technology, supporting the perception that hands-free devices are inherently safe.
In truth, using a cell phone via hands-free technology is only minimally safer than using a handheld cell phone for your conversation. The factor which impairs driving skill is the distraction caused by the conversation, not the physical act of operating a cell phone.
Hands-Free Safety Data
Studies on the subject have shown that regardless of whether the conversation is taking place using hands-free technology or a handheld device, holding conversations while driving presents a significant increase in the risk of accidents. The findings of such studies show that:
- The parietal lobe of the brain, an area which demonstrates a sizable amount of activity under normal driving conditions, shows a 40% decline in activity when the language centers of the brain are also in use.
- When a driver is talking on a phone, regardless of whether it is hands-free or hand held, they react 18% slower to cars braking in front of them than intoxicated drivers do.
- Drivers become four times more likely to wreck their car during a cell phone conversation, and for ten minutes afterward.
- Subjects who were engaged in listening exercises drift into the shoulder 50% more than drivers focused on driving alone.
The reason cell phone use is dangerous is the distraction it creates for the driver in a cognitive sense, not the physical act of picking up a phone and holding it to the ear.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver on the phone, you are likely entitled to compensation for your medical bills and any damages sustained. Contact the experienced and knowledgeable Appleton car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier today at 800-242-2874 for a free consultation.