Safety Groups: Hands-Free Devices No Safer Than Hand-Held

Are hands-free devices safer than their handheld counterparts? Should both of them be considered as threats to road safety?

Which is safer?
Cars with a Bluetooth feature allow users to talk on their phones hands-free. For some drivers, this is safer than using handheld devices, but the National Safety Council thinks otherwise. They found over 30 studies that said hands-free devices are no safer than handheld devices because the brain is still distracted by the phone conversation. However, consumers still consider hands-free devices as safe. In fact, 80% of participants in a recent NSC poll thought so.

Related: National Safety Council Infographic

Are consumers confused?
Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives at NSC David Teater, noted that consumers are confused. They are confused because there are laws that say talking on a handheld phone is illegal, yet the law does not say anything about hand-free devices. No matter which method, hands-free or handheld, every second you use to look down to read a text message is one second less you have to react. It would be nice if events were predictable on the roads, but they simply aren't predictable. While laws concerning the use of handheld devices outnumber or outweigh the use of hands-free devices, one isn’t less dangerous than the other. Even carmakers won’t say that using built-in hands-free technology in cars is completely safe.

Don't use your cell phone and drive
Please avoid using cell phones while behind the wheel. If it is important, and you can’t wait to respond, please pull over somewhere safe. Make sure you finish everything you need to before you start driving again.

Related: April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month!

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I believe the best way we can focus on driving is to stay away from distractions. Handheld or hands-free devices are distractions. Just looking at them for a few seconds takes your attention off the road. Don't text and drive.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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