Hand-free technology can result in significant damages, including personal injury to the driver, their passengers, or others on the road. It's commonly believed that using hands-free technology to communicate while driving is safer than directly picking up your phone and sending a text. Although it may be less distracting physically, it is still a major visual and cognitive distraction.
What Is Hands-Free Technology?
Texting and driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Hands-free technology allows drivers to send text messages and reply to emails and voice calls while driving their cars. Allowing drivers to multitask while behind the wheel takes their focus away from the road by causing a mental distraction and placing a strain on the brain.
According to The National Safety Council, people who use hands-free devices while driving fail to see nearly 50% less of the objects and hazardous road conditions around their vehicle, putting them at higher risk of an accident.
Is Hands-Free Important?
Some may argue that having hands-free technology can make driving more efficient due to the ability to contact someone while keeping your eyes on the road. This is arguably true because using hands-free technology while driving can offer some benefits. They include:
- Downloading your contacts to make calling easier
- Speech-to-text capabilities
- Bluetooth voice activation
- Answer and reject calls
- Pausing and skipping through tracks
Different Types of Hands-Free Technology
There are many different types of hands-free driving technologies. Some you may have seen include:
Bluetooth headsets. These are small, lightweight earbud-like technologies that aid in talking on the phone while driving. You can connect them to your phone's Bluetooth and it gives the person on the other side of the phone a more transparent, close-up sound rather than putting them on the speaker..
Cell phone car mounts. These hands-free devices are ideal for people when using the GPS. It allows drivers to look at the guided route, sitting on their dashboard, rather than holding the phone in their hand and continuously looking down to see the next direction.
Wireless FM transmitters. These technological devices are typically used by people who don't have Bluetooth programmed in their cars. It allows you to connect the transmitter to a local FM station where you can play music or answer calls through the device. It can become very distracting when driving through different radio signals and searching for the compatible station, causing the driver to take their eyes off the road when attempting to connect.
Risk of Using Hands-Free Technology
A common misconception associated with hands-free technology is that it's the same as having a conversation with someone in the car, but according to the CDC, this is not true. Their studies show that when talking on the phone while driving, the brain's ability to process moving images decreases by 33%. Even when keeping an eye on the road, drivers can overlook 50% of what is around them. When there is a passenger in the car, they are also watching the road and alerting the driver of anything they may not have seen, such as a stop sign or hazardous road conditions. Also, many states have passed laws that allow hands-free technologies while driving. Each state's laws regarding these technologies are different, but typically, the use of hands-free devices is not prohibited in emergencies.
Contact a Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. It's important that you consider working with an attorney who can help you understand your legal options following the accident. Here at Doehling Law we have the experience to work with cases just like yours. You are not alone. Let us help you.
Contact us today at (970) 292-7171 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our award-winning attorneys and review the details of your case.