Admit it. You likely have talked or texted on your cellphone at some point while driving, even though you know you should not engage in this dangerous practice. But you may have justified your actions by telling yourself that your decision did not really constitute a risk because your vehicle contains hands-free technology.
Despite the myth that hands-free equates to risk-free, however, such is not the case. Nor is the myth that your brain can multitask. It cannot. It can switch from one thing to another quickly, but it — and you — cannot do more than one thing at a time.
As you likely already know, cellphone usage while driving represents one of the biggest causes of distracted driving, which, in turn, represents one of the biggest causes of motor vehicle accidents.
Per the National Safety Council, when you engage in cellphone usage, even hands-free, while driving, you experience the following forms of distracted driving:
While hands-free technology allows you to talk or text on your phone without using your hands, you still take them off the steering wheel while doing it, whether you realize it or not. Americans are notorious for talking with our hands. Every time you do so while driving, you risk losing control of your vehicle.
Believe it or not, studies show that your brain loses 33% of its ability to see and process the movement of things around you when you text or talk while driving. Even worse, it loses nearly 50% of its ability to see and process the stationary objects around you.
No one can argue the fact that when you talk or text on your cellphone while behind the wheel, you think about the things you are saying and listening to at least as much as you think about your driving. This cognitive distraction represents the biggest risk of even hands-free cellphone usage.