April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. While much focus is on known distractions, such as texting, there’s one that some don’t consider dangerous. It’s the use of hands-free mobile devices.
A survey from the National Safety Council finds that 80 percent of drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than handheld. In fact, 70 percent of drivers use hands-free devices like a Bluetooth for just that reason. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed consider factory-installed dashboard systems safer because the auto makers released the cars that way.
But new research finds the same risks apply with a hands-free device as a handheld phone. The bottom line is that both are distractions. Hands-free devices do reduce actions such as looking away to press buttons.
But the National Safety Council reports that the brain can’t multitask successfully as much as believed. The example it used was reading a book and talking on the phone at the same time. The level of input the brain must process is too great to do both activities well. They draw a similar conclusion about driving and talking on a phone.
Yet the public is receiving a mixed message. Many states have passed laws that ban handheld mobile devices but allow hands-free. The trucking industry even allows its drivers to use hands-free devices. And with new cars coming equipped with this type of technology, the message is that it’s safe.
How Driving Distractions Could Impact a Car Accident Claim
Distracted driving is a common problem in many accident cases. It could help establish liability for someone’s injuries or death. When it’s known (or there is suspicion) that it’s the cause of a collision, it’s important to gather all evidence.
It can be difficult to prove that a distraction was a contributing factor in an accident. Witnesses can help — for instance, an occupant in another vehicle who saw the driver texting just before the crash or a witness who saw the driver talking on the phone.
As the victim in a car crash, it may be difficult for one to locate witnesses and compile evidence needed to mount a successful personal injury claim. Gacovino, Lake & Associates are here to handle these tasks and more. Simply call our toll-free number: 800-550-0000.