You’ve heard the rhetoric and likely know that driving while holding a cell phone is dangerous. Not only is texting while you are driving extremely unsafe, but so is actually keeping a phone in your hands. So, like many drivers, you’ve switched to a hands-free device. The problem is, you’re still not entirely safe and could still become involved in a distracted driving crash as a result.
Here Are a Few Reasons Why Hands-Free Devices Can Still Cause Problems:
Operating a Phone Distractes Your Brain
The cell phone companies want you to believe that if you have a Bluetooth in your ear instead of a cell phone in your hand, you can drive without the dangers of becoming distracted. Unfortunately, this is not true. Although you are able to keep both hands on the wheel when using an ear piece, your mind is still trying to pay attention to both the road and the conversation, which can cause you to find yourself in a distracted driving collision. The activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by up to one-third when listening or talking on the phone, proving that even though your hands are on the wheel, talking while driving is still dangerous.
Your Field of Vision Narrows While on the Phone
In today’s world, people are used to multi-tasking. In fact, many folks pride themselves on how many activities they can participate in all at the same time. Although many drivers believe they can talk on cell phones and still drive just as safely as when they are not, it’s just not true. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, a driver’s field of vision narrows by about 50 percent when talking and driving at the same time. This means a driver looking out of the windshield can miss seeing about half of what’s around him when talking.
Crashes Still Occur
Drivers are lured into thinking that if they speak on hands-free devices, not only are they staying within the legal limits of the law, they are also able to drive just as safely as when not on phones. Unfortunately, the facts state otherwise. Up to 90 percent of crashes still occur because of driver error, even with the advent of Bluetooth and dashboard infotainment features. The bottom line is: stay off of the phone to drive as safely as you can.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. You can help prevent someone you know from becoming involved in a distracted driving crash by sharing this article with them via email and on Facebook.
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