Is Hands-Free Really Distraction-Free Driving?

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If you’re an experienced driver, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that using a smartphone while driving is a recipe for disaster. It might lead to a terrible accident, resulting in severe injuries for you and possibly other people on the road, and perhaps even death. It might also lead to fines if you are caught.

While you may be tempted to check that notification you just got or you may want to check the phone’s GPS app, you should refrain from holding your phone during car journeys. So, one of the solutions people found were hands-free devices.

But are these devices truly distraction-free driving, though?

What Are Hands-Free Devices?

Hands-free devices allow someone to talk on the phone without having to hold their smartphone in their hands. They could either be a system installed in the dashboard of the vehicle, a Bluetooth earpiece, or anything of the sort.

You can answer calls without touching your phone, allowing you to still focus on the road. For this reason, many people consider them to be much safer.

Hands-Free Gadgets Available

There are all sorts of hands-free gadgets that people use while driving. Some of them include:

● Sun Visor Bluetooth Speaker Clip

This is a small type of speaker that can be clipped to the driver-side sun visor. After connecting it to a phone, the built-in monitor sensor activates, turning the speaker on automatically. The driver can then take calls during the car journey.

● Android Auto

You can connect this system to your Android smartphone. It can activate Google Assistant when you press the steering wheel button, and then allow you to access your maps, messages, contacts, and other things.

● Apple CarPlay

With this one, drivers can plug their iPhone devices into the system, gaining the ability to send and receive messages, make calls, and do other activities. It eliminates the need to touch your phone – you simply have to take advantage of Apple’s digital assistant or use Siri.

● Bluetooth Headset

These are perhaps the most common hands-free devices seen on drivers. You wear them over the ear, and they can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth. You can then answer calls and enjoy amazing sound quality without having to hold your phone.

● Steering Wheel Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit

To use this system, you simply have to mount it on the dashboard or the steering wheel. Then, you can answer calls, reject them, or end them. On top of that, you can even play some music on your phone if you don’t want to sit in complete silence while driving.

● Universal Wireless FM Transmitter with Hands-Free Function

In order to provide you with some music and the ability to send voice calls, this gadget takes advantage of FM transmission. As such, it will send music or voice calls from your phone to your vehicle’s stereo.

Do Hands-Free Devices Allow for Distraction-Free Driving?

Hands-free devices might be a bit safer compared to handheld devices according to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study. At the same time, hands-free devices do not eliminate distractions completely.

While they allow you to drive and talk on the phone without holding your smartphone in your hand, they can still distract you. Even when you are paying attention to the road, your brain will have a decreased ability to process moving images due to speaking on the phone.

Some people claim that using a hands-free device to talk on the phone is identical to talking to a passenger in your car. According to the National Safety Council, this is not true. Sometimes, car passengers may also be able to warn you about potential dangers on the road in case you overlook them – something the person on the phone cannot do. This makes talking on the phone way more dangerous.

The United States has over 100 deaths caused by distracted driving every day. Meanwhile, 1,000 others are injured for the same reason.

Should You Take Advantage of Hands-Free Devices?

In many states, using certain hands-free devices or controls like Google Assistant or Siri is legal. At the same time, this does not make them safe.

While these devices decrease the chances of getting into a car crash compared to holding a phone, they can still distract you and cause problems. This is why you should not consider them a solution.

Final Thoughts

So, hands-free devices are not always the best solution. For example, all drivers in Colorado are prohibited from texting and driving, but adult drivers can make phone calls if necessary. But this may lead to various accidents. If you are injured by a distracted driver, you should reach out to Denver distracted driving accident attorneys and they will help you build the best case.