Hands-free devices like Bluetooth have been touted as a safer alternative to using a handheld device behind the wheel, but what does the research say? According to the National Safety Council (NSC), Hands-Free is Not Risk-Free. Although, holding something in your hand is considered a manual distraction, there are actually two other forms of distraction behind the wheel. In addition to manual distractions, there are also visual and cognitive distractions. If your mind isn’t on the task of driving, you’re distracted behind the wheel, whether you’re holding a phone or using Bluetooth or some other form of hands-free technology.
U.S. Car Crashes by The Numbers
- Approximately 100 people die in traffic crashes each day.
- Up to 94 percent of all crashes are caused by driver error.
- In 2015, there were 32,166 fatal car crashes.
- There were 6,296,000 police-reported crashes in 2015.
- In 2015, 2,443,000 people were injured in traffic crashes.
- In 2014, 2,338,000 people were injured in crashes across the U.S.
What About Multi-Tasking?
Unfortunately, the myth of multitasking ability has convinced people across the nation that hands-free devices improve safety. While the brain can quickly switch back and forth from task to task, it can’t actually do two things at the same time. Research indicates that the active area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by up to 1/3 when listening to talking on a phone. According to the NSC, drivers looking out the windshield can miss up to 50 percent of what’s around them when talking about any kind of cell phone. To be a safe driver, you have to have eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and your mind on driving.
Take The Pledge
The NSC is calling on drivers to Take The Pledge. This commitment to distraction-free driving will help to improve personal safety, the safety of the occupants in your vehicle and safety for other roadway users you share the road with. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident involving a distracted driver in San Diego, along with the Central Coast or in any of the surrounding communities, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.