Hands-free texting uses voice activation to let a driver text without (supposedly) losing focus from the road. With so many distracted driving accidents each year, cell phone manufacturers wanted to create a safer means of communication that would limit the amount of distraction from texting. However, studies have shown that this new technology might not actually help reduce distractions for drivers on U.S. roadways. It actually might be more dangerous than hands-on texting.
Here’s what you need to know:
While it was thought that voice-to-text methods would be safer for drivers, this is not the case. Studies have shown that drivers using hands-free texting are actually more distracted than those using hands-on texting. In fact, it is estimated that drivers who create texts without using their hands only see about 50% of their surroundings, which is extremely dangerous.
Why is this? On the surface, hands-free texting seems like a safer alternative. Drivers don’t have to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel, so they should be able to drive safely and avoid an accident. However, there is another type of distraction that the creators of hands-free texting didn’t think about. This is known as cognitive distraction.
This involves anything that takes a driver’s mind off the road. It can be a heated argument with a passenger, an idle daydream, or another type of mental distraction. When using hands-free texting, drivers are focusing on creating a message that will be sent to someone else. This takes a lot of concentration, and they must think of a message within a short time limit in order to send it on their phone.
While our minds are capable of some multi-tasking, we cannot do two things at the same time. Driving and using hands-free texting is like reading a book and having a conversation with someone. We just can’t do both effectively. That is why, when drivers use a voice-to-text software to send a message, their minds are not able to focus on the road. Even if their eyes are open and their hands are on the wheel, their mind will not be able to react to their surroundings or recognize danger. While drivers may be tempted to use hands-free texting methods on the road, this is not safe, and it puts them in danger of a wreck.
Car accidents can result in serious injuries. These include paralysis, burns, lacerations, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, and catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one were involved in a crash, Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner can provide efficient representation. We will investigate the accident to gather evidence, and pursue justice from those responsible. Texting while driving is dangerous, even when using hands-free methods. If you were injured by a negligent or reckless driver, you have the right to pursue a settlement in court.
Call our Honolulu car accident lawyers today at (808) 537-2525 for personal legal attention. We offer free case evaluations for your convenience.