Are hands-free cellphones safer than the alternative?

Hands-free cellphones still present a significant danger to motorists in comparison to hand-held devices.

It is no surprise that texting and talking on a cellphone while driving causes significant danger. Not only does this affect the driver who is engaging in the hazardous activity, but it afflicts danger onto everyone who shares the road with the negligent driver. Although Ohio has yet to pass legislation making it illegal for people to use a hand-held cellphone while driving, many states have done so in an attempt to lower the number of deaths and injuries that occur each year from distracted driving. Approximately 391,000 people are seriously injured and an additional 3,477 people are killed each year in car accidents involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Some people have turned to using hands-free cellphones as a way to stay safe while behind the wheel. This technology is marketed as a safe alternative to using hand-held devices while driving. However, studies show that hands-free cellphones are a significant source of cognitive distraction and may cause car accidents as well.

A look at the study

Researchers measured participants eye movement, brain activity, response time and blood pressure, as they engaged in certain distractive activities. Participants were asked to operate a vehicle equipped with monitoring machines, as well as a simulator vehicle. The study, which was published in AAA, showed how drivers who engaged in the following activities while driving displayed varying amounts of cognitive distraction:

· Listening to the radio.

· Maintaining a conversation using a hand-held cellphone.

· Talking with a hands-free device.

· Speaking with another passenger in the vehicle.

· Listening to an audio book.

Participants were also asked to compose an email using voice-activated technology.

The results showed

Surprisingly, the task that created the greatest amount of cognitive distraction involved using the voice-activated technology. This led researchers to look at this issue further in additional studies. The study also showed that using a hands-free cellphone as opposed to a hand-held cellphone while driving was only slightly less distracting. Operating a hands-free device still caused a substantial amount of cognitive distraction, which could lead drivers to be involved in a catastrophic car accident.

Picking up the pieces

When people are involved in a motor vehicle accident, it can have a big impact on their lives. They may experience long-lasting injuries that could inhibit their ability to work or have a good quality of life. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you may want to seek counsel from an attorney in Ohio. A personal injury lawyer may be helpful in answering your questions and help you pick up the pieces of your life following an accident.