The majority of Americans, more than 80 percent, believe that using a hands-free device is safer than using a handheld device. Unfortunately, numerous studies have shown that hands-free devices are not necessarily safer, because the brain remains distracted by the conversation.
When drivers are on their phones, even if they are hands-free, drivers miss 50 percent of what happens around them. They are unaware of traffic signs, traffic lights and pedestrians. The illusion that using a hands-free device means driving safely makes them especially dangerous.
Hands-free devices are not risk-free devices. The National Safety Council states that drivers engaged in a phone conversation, even with both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, are still distracted, because their focus is not on driving.
Studies have shown that:
There is no doubt that drivers who drive while distracted, whether they are using hands-free devices or hand-held devices, are a danger to everyone on the road.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has held several summits aimed at eliminating the use of texting and cell phone usage while driving. The goal of the national summits has been to address what is rapidly becoming an epidemic.
Thousands of Americans are fatally injured in distracted driving accidents each year. In 2012, more than 3,300 people lost their lives in such accidents.
Get involved and keep our communities safe. For more information, please go to Distraction.gov to learn more about how you can help keep Americas roads safer.
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