According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, sending and reading text messages with a hands-free devices or talking on a cell phone without using your hands while driving are no less distracting than doing these activities manually. The AAA’s study comes as voice-activated technologies that let people talk, text, and Facebook while driving continue to grow in popularity. This is the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston injury lawyers if you believe that your car crash injuries or a loved one’s death was caused by a negligent driver.
Per the study, which sought to gauge how mental or cognitive distraction affect driving, even these hands-free devices don’t take away the mental distraction that can arise from engaging in so many other activities while operating a motor vehicle. As the mind becomes more distracted, the brain’s reaction capabilities slow down, as does its ability to detect vital cues on the road, including pedestrians and stop signs.
These findings are important for hands-free device manufacturers and also makers to know so that they can make sure that consumers don’t end up thinking that these types of products make it safer to text and talk while driving. AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet even called the surge in hands-free technology a “public safety crisis” just waiting to happen.
When a driver is distracted, whether by technology, cell phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, texting, reading, watching a movie, or engaged/thinking about any other activity, he/she is more prone to causing (or failing to avoid) a Boston car crash. In the US, distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people a year, causing hundreds of thousands of additional injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, almost one out of five auto crashes in 2010 involved distracted driving. During June 2011 alone, more than196 billion texts were received or sent in the US-that’s almost a 50% rise from the amount of texts sent and received throughout June 2009.
Bottom line, you don’t need to be using your hands to become mentally distracted while driving. If anything, a driver might be lulled into a false sense of security and safety, causing him/her to become less vigilant and careful. Our Boston distracted driving lawyers would like to offer you a free case evalution to find out whether you have grounds for a claim.
The AAA Study (PDF)
Hands-Free Gadgets Don’t Mean Risk-Free Driving, NPR, June 12, 2013
Distracted Driving, CDC
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