Companies continue to develop new ways that allow you to talk on your phone while driving without breaking the law. Yet, research shows that just because the law permits you to speak on hands-free devices does not mean it is safe to do so.
Conversations of any kind distract drivers
Researchers from the University of Calgary looked at various studies on how different ways of conversing distract drivers. This is what they found:
- Texting is the most dangerous of all: The act of looking at your phone screen means you are looking away from the road. It takes around five seconds to read the average text message. You are also taking a hand off the wheel for a considerable amount of time.
- Hands-free is safer than handheld: Voice-activated technology allows you to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. However, you are still taking your mind off the road. You are still diverting some of your attention to another place outside your car. If talking to your children at home, a part of your mind is there beside them.
- Even talking to a passenger is dangerous: This was the least hazardous, but it was still a considerable distraction. You do not need to take your eyes off the road, although you may well do so. You do not need to take your hands off the wheel to press any buttons, but you might remove them to gesture with. Your mind is still within your immediate environment more than when talking to someone who on the other end of a phone line.
Each year, thousands of people are injured in car crashes caused by distracted drivers. If it happens to you, you will need to seek compensation. It does not matter why a driver was distracted. When they get behind the wheel, they must pay attention to the road.