As more drivers in New Jersey use hands-free technology, many expect crash rates to drop. But is that the case? Some studies show that hands-free technology may not be as safe as we think. Today we will look at the true safety of this technology.
The National Safety Council has a slogan for this matter. It is “hands-free is not risk-free“. In short, driving with hands-free technology does not guarantee your safety. It does not get rid of the risks associated with distracted driving. This is because hands-free technology only addresses two aspects of distraction.
Distracted driving covers three different areas. These are cognitive, visual and physical distractions. Hands-free technology helps drivers keep their hands on the wheel. In theory, voice commands allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road as well. Despite this, some drivers still look at their phone screens.
The main reason for concern is the cognitive distraction aspect. Your hands may be on the wheel and your eyes may be on the road, but what about your mind? Studies show that drivers engaging in conversation are up to four times more likely to crash. Not only that, but these elevated levels of risk last up to five minutes after a conversation ends.
Cognitive distraction is potent. Hands-free technology unfortunately cannot stop it. You still engage in a distracting conversation that takes your mind off of the road. In turn, this means you are still more likely to get into a crash than a driver without any distractions. This is important for all drivers to keep in mind, for the sake of everyone’s safety.