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Does hands-free technology cut down on crashes?

Georgia residents share the road with all kinds of drivers. This is why it is so crucial for drivers to engage in safe driving behaviors. In an attempt to do this, some drivers are now relying on hands-free technology.

But how much does this technology help in crash scenarios? Does it cut down on crashes at all? Today we will look at the answer to this question.

Three areas of driver focus

The National Safety Council has a slogan addressing this topic. It is “hands-free is not risk-free”. In other words, hands-free technology does not guarantee driver safety. Why? Because distracted driving impacts three areas of focus. Hands-free technology only addresses two of them.

First, what are these areas of focus? They are visual, cognitive and physical focus. Visual focus includes keeping your eyes on the road. Cognitive focus means keeping your attention on the task at hand. In this case, that task is driving. Physical focus refers to holding your steering wheel with both hands.

Hands-free technology focuses on addressing visual and physical distractions. It allows you to keep your hands on the wheel by using audio commands instead of touch screens. It also allows you to keep your eyes on the road. Voice commands activate devices regardless of whether you look at them or not.

Where hands-free technology falters

But what about cognitive distractions? Unfortunately, there is no device in the world that can keep a driver’s focus on the road. In fact, by enabling a driver to use electronic devices, cognitive distraction increases. For this reason alone, hands-free technology cannot guarantee driver safety. Though it may help in some areas, drivers should not consider it a free pass for distracted driving.