Debunking the “Hands-Free” Safety Myth

Debunking the “Hands-Free” Safety Myth

Our personal injury lawyers at Aronberg & Aronberg know that Bluetooth cell phone technology is all over the place; from earpieces to hands-free phone connectivity in your car, it’s now easy to talk on the phone without having to lift a finger – or a phone.

With that technology has come the pervasive and convincing (yet deeply flawed) theory that the so-called “hands-free” technology makes it safer to drive while speaking with someone over the phone. The simplistic concept is as follows: because you no longer have to physically hold a phone to your ear, you are no longer distracted by the cell phone conversation and can thus focus fully on driving.

As we – and neuroscientists all over the world – know, the theory just isn’t true. The fact is that “hands-free” talking while driving can be just as dangerous as driving while holding a physical phone up to your ear.

The safety issue with talking on the phone has far less to do with the physical act of having to hold the phone and much more to do with the fact that our brains cannot properly do two things at once – we cannot focus on driving and hold a telephone conversation simultaneously. While we humans are very proficient at switching back and forth between tasks (thus giving us a sense of proficiency in multitasking), we just, as our personal injury lawyers know, cannot properly do two things at the exact same time.

The National Safety Council provides a very helpful and enlightening infographic on the issue, available here, with all sorts of information about this myth and while truly safe driving requires complete focus on the task at hand.

You might argue, Well, I cook and talk on the phone all the time! The fact is, if you are simultaneously doing two separate tasks, one of them is being compromised. Take the issue at hand: activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by up to 33% while you’re having a conversation on the phone. When you’re talking on the phone and looking out the front windshield, you miss up to 50% of what’s happening!

The so-called “essential trio” of requirements for save driving includes (i) eyes on the road, (ii) hands on the wheel, and (iii) mind on driving. Our personal injury lawyers know that if your mind is not 100% focused on driving, your ability to drive safely is significantly diminished.

Please drive safely and consider the fact that Bluetooth technology doesn’t make talking while driving any safer. If you have been injured due to the wrongdoing of another, please contact our personal injury lawyers by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to helping you.

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