In many states, hands-free devices are legal, but does that mean having a conversation on your Bluetooth is any safer than the one you would have if you were holding onto your cell phone? According to the National Safety Council (NSC), they are equally dangerous and distracting. The problem with having a phone conversation, regardless of how you go about it, is that a cell phone distracts your brain from driving. What your hands are doing is irrelevant since your mind is not focused on the task at hand – driving.
In fact, a study commissioned by the American Automobile Association, performed by researchers at the University of Utah, measured the cognitive distraction created by performing various tasks while driving. Activities like listening to the radio or an audiobook were the least distracting activities, whereas performing verbal cognitive tasks that involve math and word recall were the most distracting. The study revealed that having a conversation on a hands-free device was more distracting than talking to a passenger, but only marginally less distracting than using a handheld device.
Why is the difference so negligible? According to the NSC, the issue with having a phone conversation, regardless of the device, is more mental than physical. The mind is so occupied with the conversation that it becomes easy to overlook surroundings and potential obstacles on the road. As such, whether or not you are using your hands, does not make enough of a difference to claim one is safer than the other.
Unfortunately, most drivers actually believe that hands-free devices are safe. According to a public opinion poll released by the NSC, 80% of drivers across the country think that using a hands-free device is safer than using a handheld phone. Of those who were polled, 70% said that they use hands-free devices for safety reasons. 53% of respondents indicated that they believe hands-free devices must be safe since they are built into vehicles. Contrary to these beliefs, more than 30 studies have revealed that hands-free devices are not any safer than a handheld device, stating that the brain is too distracted.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Massachusetts
If you were injured in a car accident involving a negligent or distracted driver, the Massachusetts personal injury attorneys at Percy Law Group, PC will stand by you and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our team has extensive experience in quickly and successfully resolving all types of motor vehicle accidents. We would be honored to be your legal advocate.
Choose a team that will stay focused on your results while fighting to protect your right to a full, fair, and complete compensation.
Contact our office today at (508) 718-2545 to schedule a free consultation.