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Hands Free Devices Do Not Eliminate Injury Car Accidents Resulting from Distracted Driving

Hands free devices do not eliminate injury car accidents resulting from distracted driving in Louisville.  Forbes recently reported a public opinion poll which showed 80 percent of respondents erroneously believed hands-free mobile devices were safer than using a hand held device while driving.  The article cited more than 30 other studies which reached the same conclusion.

While some Kentucky drivers have increased their awareness of cell phone use while driving and implemented hands free systems this does not eliminate the problem of distracted driving or related injury car accidents.

Many Kentucky and Louisville drivers use hands-free strategies such as:

  • Hard-wired installation
  • Blue Tooth connection to car audio
  • Earpiece or headset
  • Voice Activated Dialing
  • Placing a call on “speaker”

Just as Forbes noted, most drivers believe this improves safe operation of a motor vehicle.  However, this is not supported by industry research.  For example, in a recent article in the Insurance Journal, researchers at the University of Sussex found talking on a hands-free device can be just as dangerous as holding the phone up to your ear.  The study showed the conversation itself causes drivers to focus their cognitive resources (attention) on the phone itself as well as imagery associated with the conversation and less upon the physical conditions of the road and the events unfolding around them.

The study focused upon the monitoring of eye movement to monitor the driver’s field of vision.  Distracted drivers conducting a conversation focused upon a much narrower band of view, usually the small region directly in front of them.  Study participants who were not engaged in conversation were able to take in a much wider field of vision which made better use of peripheral vision.  Peripheral vision is one of the most important senses and sources of visual information used to identify and avoid hazards while driving.

While hands free devices do not eliminate injury car accidents resulting from distracted driving the simple awareness of the result of this study may help you to focus more intently when conducting a cell phone conversation while driving.

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