A very dangerous myth exists in today’s driving world. Perhaps you have bought into it yourself. What is it? The myth that hands-free cellphone usage while driving is also risk-free.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the National Safety Council advises that talking or texting on your cellphone while using hands-free technology to do so poses just as much risk as using a hand-held device. Why? Because it subjects you to all three of the following types of distracted driving:
- Visual distraction
When you talk or text on your cellphone while driving, your brain rebels. Since it cannot really multitask (another baseless myth), it deprives your eyes of over one-third of their moving object processing ability and a full 50% of their stationary object processing ability. In other words, your ability to see and process what goes on around you substantially decreases.
- Physical distraction
Even though you need not take your hands off the steering wheel when you talk or text hands-free, you nevertheless unconsciously do so in order to “talk with your hands.” The result is the same: your hands are off the wheel. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to control your vehicle.
- Cognitive distraction
Perhaps the greatest danger inherent in talking or texting, even hands-free, on your cellphone while driving is the cognitive distraction such activity causes you. Again, you cannot multitask. In other words, you cannot think about your driving at the same time you are thinking about your voice or text conversation. The result? Your safety and that of your passengers and all other drivers and passengers in the vehicles around you becomes compromised.