Most states now have laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving. However, in most states the laws often allow the use of hands-free devices, which allow you to talk on your cell phone while you are behind the wheel of a car.
People may assume that this removes the distraction, however to Science Daily, the distraction of your cell phone could be more about your mind than the actual physical act of using your cell phone.
DISTRACTION IN YOUR MIND
There are three aspects involved in distracted driving. The physical aspect is the actual act of holding your phone and taking your hands off of the wheel. The visual aspect is looking away from the road to your cell phone. It’s true that hands-free devices help eliminate both of these because you are not handling your phone or looking at it when you are operating it
However, the trouble is actually with the third aspect – mental distraction. A hands-free device cannot stop mental distraction because you cannot completely focus on the road and driving when you are focused on managing or making a cell phone call.
CALLS TAKE FOCUS
When talking on the phone, you are focusing on the conversation you’re having with the person on the other end. You may be so focused on the call that driving becomes secondary. You may not notice obstacles or stop signs – and your reaction times could be delayed. You cannot fully engage mentally on driving when you are talking on the phone, and because of this, distraction still occurs despite you are using a hands-free device. The bottom line is that hands-free does not mean safer, and you still should not talk on the phone when driving.