Why Hands-Free Devices Won’t Solve Florida’s Distracted Driving Problem
It has become almost second nature now days for cell phone users to check emails, text messages, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with a touch of a button. In fact, most people check their cell phones about 150 times a day, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s annual Internet Trends report.
What does this mean for drivers?
You probably already have guessed it. Drivers also reach for their cell phones when they shouldn’t. For this reason, many states have adopted texting bans to help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Recently, the state of Florida adopted a texting ban requiring all age drivers to refrain from texting and driving while a vehicle is in motion.
Because of the recent passing of this law, many drivers have already installed Bluetooth devices so they can still talk and text while driving. While many people feel that using hands-free devices to talk or text is safe, a study by AAA and the University of Utah researchers disagree. According to this study’s findings, drivers should be aware that using hands-free devices actually increases their chance of crashing.
Just because a driver’s hands are on the wheel and eyes are on the road doesn’t mean that the driver isn’t distracted. In fact, researchers found that drivers who use hands-free technology actually suffer from decreased reaction times, which results in the following safety concerns:
- higher chance of running stop signs
- more likely to overlook pedestrians
- heightened chance of crashing
Although it is not illegal at this time to use hands-free devices while driving in Florida, drivers need to be aware of the dangers associated with voice-activated technologies to send text messages while driving. Unfortunately, when a person uses the speech-to-text technology, it can be the most dangerous thing a driver can do. This is because a driver’s brain is overloaded that they cannot focus on driving safely.
Because of this study, AAA wants to see laws put in place restricting hands-free driving as well. Until then, many drivers will be participating in this dangerous form of distracted driving. This means that even though Florida has a new texting law in place, there are still dangerous drivers distracted on our roadways.
If you have been injured in a Broward County car accident by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Contact Attorney David M. Benenfeld for more information or a free consultation.