Is Hands-Free Technology Effective at Preventing Distracted Driving?

Is Hands-Free Technology Effective at Preventing Distracted Driving? Hands-free controls for car phone system.

The Hands-Free Devices: How Safe Are They?

People multitasking behind the wheel of a car has become a major factor in traffic accidents caused by distracted driving. The number of people who died in traffic accidents in 2019 because of distracted driving rose by 10 percent to 3,142, according to the National Safety Council. Did California's ban on holding cell phones make much difference to the number of accidents and fatalities on the roads when it went into effect?

How Many Motorists Use Handheld Cell Phones?

In 2019, the number of people using hand-held cell phones while driving plummeted from 5.2 percent to 2.9 percent, according to the NSC. Nonetheless, the use of electronic devices while driving has increased by 1,300 percent from 2005 to 2019, and cell phone usage isn't the only culprit.

Are Hands-Free Devices Safe?

Studies have shown that hands-free devices are not significantly safer. Moreover, hands-free devices are distracting as well. Even though they do not utilize the hands directly, they take the driver's attention away from driving safely.

Distracted Driving: Leading Causes

Keeping the following practices to a minimum can help reduce accident risk. Following are some of the most common distractions drivers exhibit and how to avoid them:

  • The number one distraction for motorists is texting while driving. Texting has been shown to have been a factor in 25 percent of all traffic collisions in 2020.
  • It is common to become distracted while driving when accessing GPS. It can help to mount your GPS where it can be seen from the driver's seat and to turn up the sound.
  • When driving, pets and children can be a distraction. It might be helpful to ensure the children are wearing seat restraints and to give them something to keep them occupied. When smaller, dogs can be placed in a carrier or belted into the seat.
  • Distracted driving can manifest itself in a number of ways, including talking with passengers. Teenagers are often involved in accidents for this reason. Keeping your conversations at a minimum can help.
  • Eating and drinking in the car while driving is common but is also a form of driving without focusing on the road. Drive-thrus are around because so many people do it. It’s much safer to eat inside or in the parking lot before you continue on your journey.
  • Performing personal grooming while driving may sound ridiculous to some, but many people do it. From applying makeup and combing their hair to shaving with an electric razor, driving your car isn’t the right place to do this. If you can’t do your personal grooming before you leave home, then wait until you arrive at your destination and are safely parked instead of risking serious injuries in a traffic accident.
  • The act of adjusting anything from your radio to your climate controls takes your hands and eyes off the road and can lead to distracted driving. The best time to adjust your climate control and radio is before you leave or after you arrive.

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