We think most people will agree that using a cellphone while driving can be dangerous whether you are driving North Carolina’s highways or rural roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, approximately 2,841 people were killed, and another 400,000 people were injured, in accidents that involved a distracted driver.
Many have turned to hands-free devices as a means to limit the distractions caused by hand-held cellphones. However, even though studies show that hands-free devices do limit manual distractions, they still cause an extremely serious danger to everyone on the roadways.
A STUDY OF HANDS-FREE DEVICES
Researchers measured cognitive distraction in a study that was released by AAA. They asked participants to engage in several tasks while driving a vehicle equipped with monitoring devices and a simulator. These tasks included:
- Listening to the radio in the car
- Listening to an audio book
- Talking to passengers in the car
- Using a hands-free cellphone
- Using a hand-held cellphone
- Drafting and sending an email using voice-activated technology
During the above-mentioned tasks, researchers measured the eye movement, brain activity, response time and heart rate as a way of measuring cognitive distraction while driving in the participants. What was revealed in these findings is that participants talking on a hands-free device had a significant amount of cognitive distraction AND it was only slightly less than when they were using the hand-held cellphone.
Cognitive distraction is when the mind is focused on something other than the task at hand, in this instance the brain is focus on talking versus driving. According to the National Safety Council, the brain is not able to completely focus on two tasks at the same time. Instead, the brain switches from one task to the other and when it does this, it leaves instances when the driver’s brain is not concentrating on the road, and this is when a serious accident can occur.
If you have been involved in an accident where the driver of the other vehicle was distracted, we suggest contacting an experienced distracted driving attorney like the team at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett. We are available for a free consultation, call us today.