If you are like most drivers, you probably have hands-free technology installed in your vehicle. This allows you to talk or text on your cellphone while behind the wheel without having to touch it. But is this practice really safe?
Per the National Safety Council, the answer to that question is a resounding “NO.” In fact, the NCS warns that hands-free cellphone usage while driving subjects you substantial risk of having an accident. Why? Because even when you use your cellphone without touching it, the activity itself subjects you to all three of the distracted driving hallmarks as follows:
- Physical distraction
- Visual distraction
- Cognitive distraction
Despite the fact that hands-free technology makes it possible for you to keep your hands on the steering wheel while using your cellphone, you nevertheless fail to do so. During your conversation or your text exchange, you unconsciously take your hands off the wheel so as to “talk” with them.
If you think you can effectively multitask while driving and using your cellphone, think again. Studies show that your brain, and therefore your eyes, lose at least 33% of their ability to see and process all the moving objects that surround you. As for the stationary objects, your brain and eyes lose 50% of their ability to see and process those.
Finally, using your cellphone while behind the wheel, hands-free or otherwise, forces you to divide your attention between your driving and your conversation or message exchange. This puts you, your passengers and the occupants in the other vehicles near you at risk for serious injury if you crash into someone.