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Is Hands-Free Safer Than Hand-Held When Driving?

September 25, 2019 in Uncategorized | MARTIN WREN, P.C. | LEAVE A COMMENT

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Holding a phone to talk and text while driving has been discouraged or made unlawful nationwide, so hands-free devices have become a favored choice for motor vehicle operators. Many drivers use hands-free devices because they believe they are safer than hand-held devices. However, research shows that this assumption is untrue. Experts on driving safety say that using a hands-free device while driving is not safer. It does not lessen distraction, and it can be just as dangerous for motorists as holding the phone their hands.

Why is Hand-Free Driving Dangerous?

According to research studies, when drivers make and take phone calls, whether using a hand-held or hands-free device, the mental distraction still exists. With a vehicle operator’s attention diverted to the phone conversation, it can diminish the ability to react to the surroundings. Vehicle operators have significantly slower reaction times when having any phone conversations —hand-held or hands-free. They are more apt to miss objects in their mirrors and windshields as peripheral vision is limited while talking on the phone.

Furthermore, talking while driving means the brain must multi-task, which can divert an individual’s attention away from the act of driving. Motor vehicle operators concentrate on the conversation rather than focusing on the road and operating the vehicle. Regardless of whether or not a driver is using a hand-held or hands-free device, the distraction level and the increased risks are similar.

How Common is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is an issue that continues to plague roadways across the nation. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving is a substantial problem. Plus, the number of accidents due to all forms of distracted driving continues to grow each year. Many newer cars have built-in wireless options, which can encourage drivers to use their phones while they drive, assuming they are installed for safer driving.

Many people fail to realize that the action of sending a text or adjusting a playlist can lead to severe or fatal collisions. Young people are at the highest risk of being distracted, as they tend to overestimate their ability to multitask. They also have less overall experience behind the wheel and are more likely to use their phones while driving.

How Can Distractions Be Minimized?

Distracted driving can be minimized in several ways, including:

  • Not using a phone while driving
  • Using the phone only in an emergency—if making a call is necessary, pull over to a safe spot first
  • Pay attention to the road and operating the vehicle—do not multitask while driving
  • Secure pets properly before getting on the road
  • Minimize social conversations
  • Set navigation apps before driving 
  • Avoid personal grooming while driving—do it before leaving the house

What If a Distracted Driver Injures Me?

Unfortunately, distracted driving contributes significantly to rising accident rates. If you were a personal injury attorney in your local area to learn more about your rights and options for financial compensation. An auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT can review your case, and discuss your rights and other details about your case with you. Call to schedule a consultation today.

Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and hands-free devices while driving.

Contact Our Virginia Lawyers

We serve clients throughout Virginia — from Charlottesville and Central Virginia to metropolitan Richmond; Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke; and the cities of Hampton Roads to the Northern Virginia cities of  Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington.

To speak with one of our attorneys, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. also have a statewide practice and offer free consultations at a time and location that is convenient for you.  We will gladly meet with you at your home or at the hospital, even on nights and weekends.

To schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

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