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How safe are hands-free devices?

Vehicles crowd onto California roads at all hours. This makes distracted driving even more risky. Hands-free devices are a way to combat the risks of distracted driving. But statistics may show that these devices are not as safe as drivers may think.

The National Safety Council believes hands-free devices do not improve safety. The statistics of distracted driving fatalities and injuries have hardly changed. Distracted drivers kill 9 people per day and injure up to 1,000. The introduction of hands-free devices has not significantly changed this.

This is because hands-free devices still enable distracted driving behavior. Safe driving requires three components:

  • Your hands must be on the wheel
  • Your eyes must be on the road
  • Your mind must be on driving

Unfortunately, hands-free devices only targets one of these areas. Your hands may still be on the wheel, but that does not mean your attention is on the road. Any conversation with a driver takes their attention away from the act of driving. This leads to distraction and mistakes.

Not even your field of vision will remain unaffected. It is true that hands-free devices let you operate a phone without looking at it. However, holding a conversation can be more distracting than you expect. Drivers can miss up to 50 percent of their surroundings while talking to someone else. This is the same as covering up half of your windshield. With these factors interfering with your focus, crashes are a natural result. These statistics are important to note, especially if you think hands-free devices are the answer to your safety concerns.

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