Is It Safer to Use a Hands-Free Device When Driving?

Whenever the human race has a problem, they hurry to find an alternative way to solve it. As more cities and states outlawed using a cell phone for talking and texting, the popularity of hand-free devices grew. However, it became clear that using these devices did not cure the problem. It merely somewhat reduced the consequences. 

What Is Hands-Free Driving?

The following qualify as hands-free devices:

  • The vehicle’s dashboard speakerphone
  • Bluetooth device
  • Headphones 
  • Earpieces
  • Personal assistant systems

Why Aren’t Hands-Free Devices Safer?

These devices are not safer because driving while distracted has to do with the lack of focus on the road. So, even though hands-free devices reduce accidents, it still results in a motorist not focusing on the road. Although it helps lessen the number of accidents caused by texting and talking with the cell phone in hand, it does nothing to reduce other forms of distraction.

What Are Some Other Forms of Distracted Driving?

While distractions involving the use of a cell phone are the most common, there are other reasons a driver loses focus:

  • Eating
  • Putting on makeup
  • Talking to passengers
  • Looking for an item in the glove compartment
  • Dealing with pets or children
  • Dropping something on the floor of the vehicle and trying to find it

Why Is Using a Hands-Free Device Dangerous?

Multitasking is rampant in today’s society. However, that does not translate well when you are driving. This is because no one can give 100 percent of their attention to a task when juggling others. That is to say, when a driver is focusing on the road, they miss roughly 50 percent of what they should see. A driver who is using hands-free devices means he misses 33 percent of all moving objects.

Statistics About Distracted Driving

A few statistics may make the problem of distracted driving dangers clearer:

  • Thirteen percent of accidents that involve cell phones are fatal.
  • Over 250,000 distraction-related accidents result in injuries annually.
  • Approximately 24 percent of auto accidents are due to distracted driving.
  • Each year, about 38 people are killed in a car accident due to distracted driving, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. 
  • About 5,400 people are injured in distracted driving accidents.

Studies That Show Hands-Free Devices Don’t Help That Much

A major university studied the difference between drunk drivers and distracted drivers when it came to accidents. They found that drivers using a cell phone had more accidents than drunk drivers. They also concluded that no difference was detected between hand-held phones and hands-free devices.

Another study showed that drunk drivers performed better in driving courses. This study had both inebriated and distracted drivers, and those using hands-free devices fared worse when it came to completing the course.

Distracted Driving Laws in Louisiana

Louisiana prohibits the following when driving:

  • Reading and writing while driving
  • Texting when driving
  • Using a cell phone in a school zone
  • Someone under 18 from using a cell phone
  • Someone under 16 from using a cell phone even if it is hands-free
  • Using social media
  • Using a headset that covers both ears

Exceptions to Cell Phone Laws

A driver can use a cell phone in Louisiana under the following conditions:

  • The driver is reporting illegal activity
  • The user is reporting an injury to another person
  • The driver is reporting an accident or emergency
  • The driver fears for their safety
  • The driver can call, text or read texts if they are legally parked

The Olinde Law Firm

If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident, call the Olinde Law Firm for the legal help you need. We can be reached at (800) 587-1889 or (785) 777-1000 or online 24/7. We are here to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.