cellphone use while driving is not risk-free driving, new research shows.
80% of US drivers think hands-free smartphones are safer than hand-held ones
when they are behind the wheel, the National Safety Council found. But the
council's experts analysed 30 studies and found using a hands-free device while
driving is no safer than using a hand-held phone because both are a
Brain doesn't truly multitask
"While many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by
using a hands-free device, it's just not true," David Teater, senior
director of transportation initiatives at the National Safety Council, said in
a news release. "The problem is the brain does not truly multitask. Just
like you can't read a book and talk on the phone, you can't safely operate a
vehicle and talk on the phone. With some state laws focusing on hand-held bans
and carmakers putting hands-free technology in vehicles, no wonder people are
Although 12 states and the District of Columbia have banned the use of
hand-held cellphones while driving, hands-free devices have not been regulated
by any state or municipality, according to the council.
A growing number of cars are being equipped with dashboard systems that
allow drivers to make hands-free calls, send text messages, email and even
update their social media statuses, the study authors noted.
The researchers found that 53% of those polled believe these devices are
safe because they were installed by the car's manufacturer. Moreover, 70% of
those surveyed said they use hands-free devices for safety reasons.
The National Safety Council has designated April as "Distracted Driving
Awareness Month," to draw attention to the fact that hands-free cellphone
use while driving carries its own risks.
Read more:Image: Hands-free mobile from Shutterstock
of people SMS while driving
to text just as dangerous to drivers as texting