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Does Hands-Free Mean Accident Free?

By Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney on June 30, 2017

A great deal of attention is currently being paid to the dangers of mobile phone use while driving. It is already illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Connecticut while using a cell phone. And new laws are being added all the time across the country, forbidding this dangerous and reckless behavior. One popular solution has been new technologies and platforms that allow drivers to operate their mobile devices hands-free, including voice recognition technology.

Hands-Free Does NOT Mean Accident Free

Unfortunately, according to a whitepaper from the National Safety Council on cognitive distraction, using hands-free devices while driving is also proving to be quite risky behavior. The document highlights a number of the dangers associated with hands-free operation of mobile devices.

The findings of the NSC are chilling. During their research, they compared more than 30 studies and reports that looked at driver performance using both handheld and hands-free phones. Not one of those studies could find any significant safety benefit to using hands-free phones while driving. Rather, they concluded that the cognitive distraction of a phone conversation actually contributes to driver impairment.

Distracted Driving Leads to Collisions

Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to statistics found in the whitepaper, since 1994, more than 32,000 people have been killed due to motor vehicle crashes annually. This figure includes drivers and passengers, in addition to motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When taking into account non-fatal crashes, more than 2.2 million injuries have occurred as the result of motor vehicle crashes since 2010.

The NSC estimates that in 2010, more than one million vehicle accidents involved cell phones, accounting for 21% of all crashes. This number includes texting, talking, emailing, and other activities.

Is There a Better Solution?

Most of the solutions to this problem in the last decade have focused on regulations and guidelines that curb the use of handheld phones and/or texting, but still allow for hands-free cell phone use. In fact, there is no state, including Connecticut, that has banned the hands-free use of mobile devices (although some employer policies have done so). There is very little public recognition of the dangers posed by these activities.

Since the actual problem is cognitive distraction, it’s doubtful that any multitasking or new gadgets will solve this issue.

If You Suspect a Distracted Driver Caused Your Accident…

Too many accidents are happening due to driver distraction. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to full compensation. The legal team at Naizby Law will work tirelessly on your behalf to make sure justice is done. Call us today at (203) 245-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

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