From McCain – In 2011, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes, classified as anything that takes a drivers eyes, hands, or mind off the road. While talking on a handheld and texting are the most notorious and well publicized forms of distracted driving, a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety argues that hands-free devices still create dangerous mental distractions that threaten road safety.
Bluetooth and other hands-free devices may help drivers keep both hands on the wheel, but they don’t help keep their minds on the road. “Increased mental workload and cognitive distractions can lead to a type of tunnel vision or inattention blindness where motorists don’t see potential hazards right in front of them,” said Peter Kissinger, CEO, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. When a driver has a hands-free conversation, their primary focus is no longer on the road, causing their reaction time to worsen.
As a technology-centered society, we are focused on making ordinary tasks easier, but easier isn’t necessarily safer. AAA recommends limiting hands-free technologies in vehicles to better ensure the safety of everyone on the road.