Is Hands-Free Calling Safer for Drivers?

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Many people believe that hands-free cell phone use – through use of an earpiece, speakerphone, or in-car system – is safer than holding a phone while driving. This belief has led several states to ban handheld cell phone use while permitting use of hands-free devices. However, studies have shown that hands-free calling is just as dangerous as handheld cellphone use behind the wheel.

The National Safety Council has identified numerous specific risks associated with talking on the phone behind the wheel. We all know talking on the phone while driving can be dangerous, but did you know:

  • Activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by as much as 33 percent when engaged in a cell phone conversation.
  • A driver’s field of vision narrows by as much as 50 percent when talking on the phone.
  • Over 25 percent of all auto accidents involve cell phone use.

According to the National Safety Council and other sources, these dangers are equally present with handheld and hands-free calling. A study conducted by the University of Utah even found that hands-free calling was more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. Other studies have yielded similar results as well.

Can You Read a Book While Talking on Your Phone?

Despite the research that is out there, it seems that the majority of the population still finds it hard to believe that hands-free calling is just as dangerous as maintaining a conversation while holding your phone. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that nine percent of all drivers in America are talking on their phones at any given point in time.

To illustrate this point, the National Safety Council gives the example of reading a book. Can you read a book while maintaining a conversation over the phone? Does it make a difference if the phone is in your hand or by your side? Most people would answer “no” to both of these questions. If you cannot easily read a book – which requires use of your eyes, hands, and mind – while talking on the phone, your conversations will have the same impact on your driving.

Voice-to-Text is Also Distracting

In 2013, the chief executive of AAA called hands-free technology, “a looming public safety crisis.” As car and phone companies develop more and more advanced technologies, drivers are facing more and more distractions that take their eyes and minds off of the road. The National Safety Council notes that voice-to-text technologies are particularly troubling, and may even be more distracting than typing text messages by hand.

The Bottaro Law Firm, LLC | Experienced Lawyers for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents

At the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC, we are passionate about putting an end to distracted driving. As personal injury lawyers, we know all too well the impacts of talking and texting behind the wheel. If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver, call us at (866) 529-9700 or send us an email to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.