You may think that a hands-free device is safer than a handheld phone or electronic device for drivers. But you’d be wrong. According to The Street, hands-free cellphone systems distract drivers almost as much as holding a device up to your ear — and voice-to-text email programs are more or less the worst of all.
Our Long Island car accident lawyers understand that your attention can be diverted even with new voice-recognition devices that let you keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. The truth here is that our brains can’t multitask like we think they can. Instead of doing two things at once, our brain simply shifts its attention quickly back and forth from one activity to the other, which seriously increases your risks for an accident.
According to AAA research, a number of experiments were conducted on volunteers to measure how a range of distractions affect driving proficiency. Researchers looked at the brain’s functions and recorded reaction times for simple driving tasks, while engaged in various activities. The conclusions clearly state that we’re not able to focus on two things at once, and when other activities are introduced our risks for an accident skyrocket.
Banning handheld cell phone use while allowing hands-free use is just crazy when research clearly shows that both have the same negative effect on drivers.
And in the state of New York, drivers are prohibited from talking on a cell phone and text messaging behind the wheel, one of only a few states to have such strict rules, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Lucky for us, distracted driving has been included in our state’s strategic highway safety plan, but that was back in 2008, according to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). We need to do more.
According to the GHSA, about half of all adults in the country currently own a smartphone. But just about everyone’s got a cell phone, as the wireless industry reports a subscription penetration rate of 102.2 percent.
How states should focus on distracted driving:
-Step up enforcement efforts.
-Focus on at-risk drivers, such as teens.
-Educate the public about the risks involved.
-Team up with public and private partnerships to push the message.
-Keep the data and accident records to prove the problem.
“Developing effective programs and policies to keep all roadway users safe is a challenge, but it becomes even more daunting with the increase in the use of distracting technology,” said GHSA Deputy Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, you can receive a traffic ticket and pay a fine of $150 and a surcharge if you’re busted talking on your cell phone behind the wheel.
Drivers need to more worried about the lives in their hands and not the phones in their hands. Remember, law enforcement officers will be on the lookout. Hang up and pay attention — that counts for the hands-free devices, too!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-877-313-7673.
More Blog Entries:
New York City Traffic Fatalities on the Rise, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, June 30, 2013
New York Senate Passes Sweeping Distracted Driving Measure, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, June 18, 2013