Food for thought. Below is a message from the Utah Safety Council on distracted driving.
|Hands-Free is not Risk Free|
|April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and the Utah Safety Council wants to emphasize that hands-free devices are not any safer than manually answering the phone while driving.
80 percent of American drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone but that is not the case. Have you ever been talking with the passengers in your car and missed a turn or ran a red light? Many studies have shown that hands-free devices are no safer because the brain is still distracted by the conversation. When talking on the cellphone, drivers are distracted and will miss up to half of what is going on around them such as: pedestrians, stop signs, and traffic lights.
Many states require people to use hands-free devices instead which is why there is a lot of confusion about hands-free devices. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hands-free features in dashboards actually increase mental distraction. Texas A&M found that using voice-to-text functions are as distracting as typing the texts manually while driving.
As we are driving this April, let us all remember that hands-free driving is not risk free and keep our phones off and out of sight.