According to the National Safety Council (NSC), car crashes are the number one cause of unintentional death in the United States. Each day, approximately 100 people die in car crashes throughout the country. Most of the collisions are caused by driver error — about 90 percent. Many drivers assume that using a hands-free cell phone reduces their risk of being injured in a car crash. However, this assumption could be deadly.
What Is Considered Hands-Free?
Hands-free includes using a speakerphone, earpiece, or dashboard system. It is estimated that approximately nine percent of drivers are talking on their cell phones every second on our roads. Including hands-free cell phones, twenty-six percent of all car crashes involve the use of a cell phone.
What Is The Use Of Cell Phones While Driving So Dangerous?
When you are driving, you need to have your eyes on the road, your hands on the steering wheel, and your mind focused on driving. Talking on a cell phone interferes with each of these functions. Even using a hands-free cell phone can be distracting. Your hands may be on the steering wheel but your mind is not on driving, it is on your conversation. Furthermore, research has shown that drivers miss seeing up to 50 percent of what is around them when they are talking on a cell phone.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that the “adoption of voice-based systems in the vehicle may have unintended consequences that adversely affect traffic safety.” Researchers used information gained from measuring cognitive ability and brain activity of drivers who used hands-free devices while driving to determine if hands-free devices were safe to use while driving.
The results showed that drivers who use hands-free cell phones had tunnel vision, slower reaction times, and missed visual clues. Using voice-to-text and hands-free devices placed a high burden on cognitive functions and mental resources preventing the driver from fully focusing on the task of driving. According to the NSC, new studies have shown that voice-to-text can be even more distracting than typing text messages by hand.
All Distractions Are Dangerous
Based on current research and data, it is clear that the assumption that using hands-free devices while driver is safer is an extremely dangerous assumption. Any type of distraction increases the chance of a motor vehicle accident. Therefore, it is imperative that drivers reduce all distractions while driving, including but not limited to:
- Cell phones, including texting and talking on a cell phone
- Reading and writing
- Drinking and eating
- Taking care of children and interacting with other passengers
- Reaching for objects
- Adjusting vehicle controls or settings
- Use of any electronic device, including GPS systems and on-board systems
Contact A Louisville Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a distracted driving accident, you have the right to file an accident claim against the driver who caused the accident. Because your time to file a claim is limited, you need to act now.
Contact the Shelton Law Group by calling 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form. Our Louisville personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and case evaluations to accident victims in the greater Louisville and Lexington areas.