According to one of the most prevalent myths in the country, you can safely talk and text on your cellphone while driving as long as you use hands-free technology to do so. Unfortunately, this myth is false. If you succumb to it, you put not only yourself in danger, but also your passengers and others who share the road with you.
Western Slope Driving Institute warns that hands-free texting and talking constitutes distracted driving, the number one cause of motor vehicle crashes and the injuries and deaths in which they result.
Today, hands-free cellphone usage while driving represents one of the most common forms of multitasking, i.e., attempting to do more than one thing at a time. However, the ability of your brain to multitask is itself a myth.
Hands-free distracted driving
Experts agree that you can become distracted in the following three ways:
They also agree that hands-free cellphone usage while driving distracts you in all three ways.
For instance, even though hands-free technology allows you to talk and text without holding your cellphone, this does not mean that you keep your hands on the steering wheel. Instead, studies reveal that you will unconsciously “talk with your hands.”
As for visual distraction, research also shows that your brain processes only about two-thirds of the movement you see around you while using your cellphone, even hands-free. Even more distressing, your brain processes only about half of the stationary objects your eyes see around you while using your cellphone.
Your cognitive abilities likewise tank when you talk or text at the same time as you drive. Whether you realize it or not, you tend to pay more attention to your cellphone interactions than to your driving responsibilities.
Bottom line, hands-free cellphone usage while driving causes accidents that could severely injure you or even kill you.