April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time when we should discuss how mobile phone use, eating, talking and grooming behind the wheel can cause serious accidents. It is also a good time to discuss misconceptions and myths about distracted driving. If you believe hands-free devices are safe to use while driving, you should stick around and read our blog. Unfortunately, this common misconception can put you and others in danger.
According to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, these commonly used products are still unsafe to use while driving. AAA required participants to use features on 13 different hands-free devices while driving, such as making phone calls or changing music.
Cameras were placed in vehicles to measure reaction time and the ability to focus on driving. Hands-free devices were found to distract drivers for 15 to 27 seconds after use. What does this discovery imply? Using hands-free devices while stopped at traffic lights or signs can still cause distractions even after drivers start moving again. Drivers using hands-free devices were more likely to be unaware of road hazards, pedestrians, stop signs and other motorists.
The National Safety Council (NCS) has also spoken out against hands-free devices while driving. According to the NCS, our brains have difficulty talking, listening and driving at the same time. In fact, the brain loses a third of its ability to process movement while talking or listening on phone calls.
Exercise Caution During Distracted Driving Awareness Month
AAA and others have a good point. We should exercise caution and refrain from using devices that can take away from our ability to focus on driving. Vehicles weigh many hundreds of pounds, and collisions can create catastrophic consequences for drivers and other motorists.
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