Ever since iPhones and smartphones became popular, drivers have been using them behind the wheel in one way or another. Tasks performed on cell phones in the car include texting, talking, emailing, and checking social media sites. Because of the increase in motor vehicle accidents linked to cellphone use and distracted driving, most states have banned drivers from texting while driving in hopes of reducing crashes, injuries, and deaths.
Florida became one of the last states to sign a bill into law banning texting while driving. However, a new AAA study reveals that Floridians should also be concerned about using hands-free technology. According to researchers, using hands-free devices to text or talk while driving may increase a driver’s chances of being in a car accident.
Researchers at the University of Utah observed adults using hands-free devices to multitask while operating driving simulators. What they found was astonishing. The belief generally has been that drivers who hold their phones and manually enter numbers or text messages are more likely to get into an accident. However, researchers found that using hands-free technology to talk on the phone or respond to texts or emails also created a dangerous driving environment. Even if drivers kept both hands on the wheel while using hands-free technology, they were distracted.
Researchers observed 32 drivers as they drove using hands-free devices so they could measure the following:
- Eye movements
- Actual driving performance
Researchers found that brainwaves, eye movements, and mental workload increased while reaction time decreased. Researchers also found that drivers were more likely to not see stop signs and pedestrians while using hands-free devices, increasing their chances of being involved in a crash.
This AAA hands-free study indicates that driving while using hands-free devices to talk is more dangerous than previously thought. Additionally, the study also found that using voice commands to send emails or text messages is actually more dangerous than talking on the phone while driving.
If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident in Sarasota due to a negligent driver, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Sarasota accident attorney. Contact the Mallard Law Firm today at 888-409-3805 to find out your rights in a free consultation.