Published on September 4, 2015
Concerns about distracting activities while driving have led to several innovations over the last few decades. When some states made it illegal to talk on mobile phones while driving the industry responded by introducing hands-free phone systems. Now we’re seeing the same thing as voice recognition technology is catching up with texting. The question is, are these things really making us any safer, or are they just helping us circumvent important traffic safety laws?
The Risks are Real
Studies show that people who are attempting to use a voice texting program have a reaction time that’s about twice as long as when they’re properly focused. While hands free technology definitely frees up your hands and allows you to keep your eyes on the road, the amount of distraction is the same, and the results are about equally bad. Even worse, since voice recognition technology isn’t really that great, drivers often have to make multiple corrections to their texts, which means that they’re distracted for even longer than if they were just texting normally.
The AAA foundation conducted a study in 2013 that found that drivers actually behave more carelessly when using hands-free technology than when using traditional methods specifically because they think they’re using a safe method of communication.
So, What Are We Supposed To Do?
The easiest solution is, of course, to just put the phone away while you’re driving. Getting back to your friends right now instead of in 20 minutes isn’t worth risking a permanent injury, whiplash, or even death.
Unfortunately much of our mobile use in the car isn’t strictly social, we might be calling someone to ask for directions or looking up an address. We don’t think of this type of behavior as optional, so we’ll make exceptions for ourselves, because we assume we’re good drivers and everything will be fine.
To avoid falling into this trap, it is a good idea to do your research about where you’re going before you hit the road. Alternatively, you may have the copilot handle the phone instead. If you’re someone who feels compelled to respond to every text and notification immediately it might be best if you just turn your phone off completely when you get in the car.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, please give us a call as soon as possible. We can connect you with local auto accident attorneys and medical professionals to ensure that you get the car accident compensation you deserve.
Category: Car Accidents