In the United States, nine people die each day and over 1,000 people suffer injuries due to distracted driving. Drivers who prioritize safety might choose to eliminate most distractions from their vehicle. This includes one of the biggest culprits behind distracted driving accidents, texting or talking on the phone.
In the past, most thought that if you went hands-free, this was enough. After all, you can keep both hands on the wheel. The National Safety Council suggests that hands-free is not necessarily safer.
The Essential Trio for Driving
To drive safely, there are three main requirements:
- First, keep your eyes on the road
- Second, keep your hands on the wheel
- Third, keep your mind on driving
Anything that takes your focus away from these three things is a distraction. According to the CDC, these three requirements pair up with the three main distractions. A distraction can be visual, manual or cognitive. While most cannot argue that to text while driving involves all three of these distractions, when you talk and drive, you still can experience two out of three. You can affect your mental focus and your visual focus.
The Consequences of Talking on the Phone
If you are having a hands-free discussion, you might think that you are still watching the road. Did you know that your field of view narrows when you are on the phone? You can miss out on up to 50% of your surroundings while talking. Your mind has difficulty processing both tasks at the same time. Any type of distraction can increase your chances of a motor vehicle accident.