To Your Health
October, 2015 (Vol. 09, Issue 10)
Hands-Free Technology? Not as Safe as You Think
By Editorial Staff
As reports of cellphone-related road fatalities make global headlines, automobile and mobile-phone manufacturers continue developing "safer" ways to communicate while driving. Unfortunately, recent research
suggests any form of "distracted driving" puts the driver, its occupants and anyone else on the road (who may be doing the exact same thing) at risk. In fact, you don't necessarily even need to be using your phone while driving to be distracted by it.
Researchers discovered issuing voice commands to your car / phone or texting in a seemingly harmless situation – while stopped at a red light – can still distract the driver for up to 30 seconds thereafter. The difficulty of the task / ease of use of the technology impacted the level of distraction; easier tasks resulted in approximately 15 seconds of distracted time, vs. 27 seconds for more difficult tasks.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 3,000 people die every year from distracted driving-related accidents, while nearly half a million are injured - and those estimates rely on data from 2013! When you're driving, focus on the road and your fellow driver. Except in an absolute emergency, the phone (and other technology) can wait. Or better yet, let your passenger(s) do the work for you, so you can focus on your most important job: getting everyone to their destination safe and sound.