Distracted driving serves as one of the biggest potential risks for drivers in the modern age. Unfortunately, while campaigns targeting texting while driving continue to drive the numbers down incrementally, it cannot stop the issue entirely.
Thus, many drivers take to using “safe” methods of utilizing handheld devices while on the road, instead. Things like hands-free phones allow you to call people, check emails and use navigational apps all without ever touching the screen. But just how much safety do these tools provide?
Three forms of distraction
AAA Exchange discusses the risks of distracted driving. Using electronic devices poses a particularly unique danger because it often distracts you in all three senses: visually, physically and mentally. However, hands-free devices only address two of these three forms of distraction. While you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, you cannot keep your mind from distractions.
No notable improvements
Unfortunately, studies have shown that hands-free phones and devices do not offer any notable or significant safety benefits to the drivers that use them. This is likely because, as mentioned above, hands-free devices will still cause mental distractions in a driver that can lead to preventable crashes.
Voice-activate technology can also still distract you visually, as well. While you do not have to touch the screen, you may still glance at it out of habit or because you want to see something it shows, such as a detailed map for directions. But just a few seconds of distraction can drastically increase a driver’s chance of crashing, so these devices do not do enough to address the underlying issue.