Why is hands-free cellphone use distracted driving?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Louisiana has several laws against distracted driving, which cover more than sending and reading text messages while driving. Using cellphones or other electronic devices while driving through a school zone is illegal. Although adults can use hands-free devices outside of school zones, they need to know that they increase their risk of getting into car accidents because it is still distracted driving.

Four times more likely to crash

Drivers are four times more likely to get into motor vehicle accidents when they use a smartphone, even hands-free. Using a cellphone with your hand also greatly increases your risk of a crash.

You miss out on 50% of the information in your environment when you use your phone even when you operate it hands-free. Mental distraction isn’t only visual; it includes daydreaming, getting lost in your thoughts and holding a conversation with someone whether they’re in the car with you or not.

Humans aren’t good at multitasking

What you think of as multitasking isn’t actually doing many things at once. Your brain is switching between tasks so quickly that you don’t differentiate the way your focus is going back and forth. Communicating with a hands-free device shifts your focus from the road to the message you’re sending or the voicemail you’re listening to.

You should only use your hands-free device for important tasks like following GPS directions. Avoid talking to people when it’s not an emergency in order to stay as safe as possible on the road. Almost all phone calls can wait until you are in the parking lot or your driveway.

Distracted driving means losing focus on driving to do something else regardless of how minor it is. Using a cellphone, whether hands-free or not, is distracted driving and could lead to someone causing a car accident.