At Miller Rosnick Damico August & Butler PC in Connecticut, we represent many clients who have suffered serious injuries as the result of a car crash. All too often they tell us that the driver who caused the accident appeared to be talking on his or her cellphone at the time of the accident, even though they failed to notice a phone or other device in his or her hand.
Unfortunately, the advent of hands-free devices in vehicles has led to the absolutely false belief that hands-free means risk-free. The National Safety Council reports that around 100 people die every day from distracted driving accidents, mostly having to do with cellphone usage. It also counsels that any kind of cellphone usage while driving, whether hand-held or hands-free, puts you at grave risk for involving yourself in a car crash.
Three rules for safe driving
However you learned to drive, you likely had to memorize the following three prime safe driving rules:
- Always keep the steering wheel in your hands.
- Always watch the road.
- Always think about your driving, not something else.
Even though hands-free technology allows you to always grasp the steering wheel, this has nothing to do with what happens in your brain when you talk or text hands-free. Remember, your brain cannot multitask. It can only do one thing at a time, even though it can do those things rather quickly.
Talking or texting hands-free forces your brain to see and process movement at only 67% of its full capacity. Even more frightening, your brain can only see and process about 50% of the stationary objects around you.
Believe it or not, studies show that it you use hands-free technology to talk or text on your cellphone while driving, this actually distracts you more than if you had held the phone in your hand. Your safety and that of others while on the road demands that you never talk or text while driving.
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