Hands-Free Driving Isn’t Necessarily Safer Driving

blurry%20road.jpgYour accident risk could still be high even if you are using a headset to have a conversations while driving. This includes the use of a voice-activated system in your car to accomplish functions that you would otherwise have done manually. A growing body of research indicates that voice technologies aren’t necessarily safer technology, and won’t necessarily help reduce the risk of an accident.

For years now, many of us have known that headsets don’t necessarily reduce accident risks. In spite of that, much of the focus on distracted driving across the country has been legislation that prohibits the use of handheld cell phones and texting devices at the wheel. Those bans are based on the theory that distractions involve visual, manual and cognitive distractions. That means anything that takes your hand away from the steering wheel, your eyes away from the road, and your mind off the task off the task of driving is considered a distraction.

However, while using a headset or voice-activated communication system in your car can help reduce the risk of visual and manual distractions, it doesn’t necessarily reduce cognitive distractions. For instance, a detailed conversation concerning family or work issues, even while using a headset, can cause you to miss important roadway cues while you’re driving. You could use your voice-activated system in your car to open e-mails, and have them read out to you, not realizing that your concentration is being impacted by this.

New research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety actually confirms this. The study finds that while voice activated systems do slightly reduce the risk of distractions while driving, the reduction isn’t significant enough. Visual distractions only reduce slightly when people use voice-activated systems as compared to actually using their hands to perform functions.

Legislation to prevent distracted driving currently in place in Indiana is inadequate. It also doesn’t seem likely that in the near future, states are going to move to ban the use of headsets or voice-activated systems altogether. It is up to motorists to exercise restraint and be responsible enough to realize when their actions could cause injuries to other motorists.

If you have suffered injuries in a distracted driving accident, speak to an attorney at our firm. The attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP are ready to speak with you.