Hands-free texting seems like the perfect invention for the multitasking driver who is in need of constant connectivity and searching for that lifesaving technology to allow for the safe use of a cellular device while behind the wheel. It seems pretty straightforward that using your phone while driving can be very risky, however, some apps are developed with safety in mind. Hands-free devices appear to be the perfect solution to enable a driver to utilize his or her voice to compose a message while keeping both hands securely on the wheel and eyes focused on the road. The problem is that recent studies suggest that despite what automakers and phone companies proclaim about the safety of hands-free technology, such as Siri on the IPhone and vehicles enabled with Bluetooth, voice messaging is not necessarily any safer for drivers.
AAA Study Reveals Risks Behind Hands-Free Texting
According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the illusion created by hands-free systems potentially increases the danger of texting while driving in comparison to traditional texting.1 The study looked at a range of activities drivers typically performed while driving including listening to the radio, conversations with passengers, placing phone calls, typing texts, and verbally texting using hands-free technology. The activities were then ranked based on the level of distraction created when the tasks were performed while driving in a simulator. The study revealed that verbally texting through the use of hands-free technology caused a large level of mental distraction.2
Why is Hands-Free Texting Dangerous and Distracting?
The problem with hands-free technology is it increases the chances of an auto accident to be caused by a distracted driver. Hands-free texting creates a form of cognitive distraction when the driver’s focus is taken off the road. The AAA study found that voice-to-text features sometimes create inattentional blindness or a form of tunnel vision.3 In other words, the driver’s span of attention is shortened and reduced to a smaller field in front of the vehicle despite there being no physical vision impairments. This means that the driver is only seeing what is directly in front of them, but he or she does not see what is in the close distance such as upcoming stop signs, traffic lights, incoming vehicles, or pedestrians on the side of the road. So the idea that hands-free texting is safer is in fact a misconception and creates a false sense of safety and security which creates a higher chance of car accidents.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
There is a way to prevent car accidents due to texting by refraining from traditional texting or the use of hands-free texting technology, but instead pulling over or waiting until your destination is reached before sending a message. However, in the event that these options are not taken and a car accident occurs because of the use of a hands-free texting system, an auto accident attorney should review the facts and circumstances of your accident to determine if a driver was negligent or reckless for driving while distracted by a hands-free texting system. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.