April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month and we would like to encourage all of our students, faculty, and staff to put an end to this life-threatening practice.
The Hands-Free Myth
Do you think using a hands-free device – whether it’s an earpiece or a dashboard infotainment system – is the safe way to drive and talk on the phone?
If so, you’re not alone. A recent National Safety Council poll shows that 80% of U.S. drivers believe handsfree cell phones are safer than using handheld. However, it’s just not true. More than 30 studies show that using hands-free systems provide drivers no safety benefit. Even with both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, your mind is distracted from the task of driving. Think about it, people have been driving stick shift for decades – the issue is not about keeping two hands on the wheel. The NSC poll also found that 53 percent of respondents believe hands-free devices must be safe to use if they are built into vehicles. Add to that many state laws requiring people to use hands-free, and it’s no wonder there’s confusion.
The results are in:
1. Hands-free features in dashboards actually increase mental distraction*
2. Using voice-to-text is more distracting than typing texts while driving**
3. Drivers who text with their hands or voice (using speech-to-text systems) keep their eyes on the road less often and have reaction times twice as slow**
Learn why at nsc.org/cellfree
*AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
**Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Information for this post provided by the National Safety Council.