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Does hands-free technology really impact driver safety?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2020 | Personal Injury

Maryland residents sometimes need technology in their cars. For example, tech is important when using GPS systems. It helps drivers all over the state get to their destinations in a fast and safe way. 

Hands-free technology improves driver safety. Though hands-free tech companies say it keeps drivers safe, does it? 

The truth about hands-free tech 

The National Safety Council disagrees. Their campaign reminds people that hands-free technology cannot guarantee driver safety. In fact, their slogan is “hands-free is not risk-free”. Hands-free tech does offer some protection from the dangers of distraction. But it cannot get rid of every distraction. 

First, we need to look at the primary sources of driver distraction. These are cognitive, visual and physical. Visual distractions involve anything that take your eyes off the road. Physical distractions take your hands off the wheel. Hands-free tech addresses both of these issues. Many hands-free devices have voice command technology. This allows you to speak to your device. It answers back through the car’s speakers or the device’s speakers. This allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes ahead. 

Cognitive distractions are where hands-free tech suffers 

But what about cognitive distractions? Unfortunately, hands-free tech cannot address this issue. This is because cognitive distractions are a wide umbrella. They include anything that takes your mind off of the task at hand. In this case, that task is driving. Hands-free tech is a cognitive distraction. It allows you to interact with your devices, which takes your mind off of driving. Even using a GPS is a cognitive distraction. Hands-free tech cannot guarantee safety from cognitive distractions. It cannot be entirely safe for drivers.