Inventors and technology have realized the dreams of science fiction and today cell phones, laptops, and music players can be utilized with a few spoken words. This makes it possible to change the song on the radio or adjust the temperature in the car without a driver having to take their hands off the wheel.While hands-free technology an be convenient, it can also be a distraction that can lead to a fatal accident.
“The American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that communicating via hands-free devices was equally as distracting as using handheld devices. While the study focused on speech-to-text programs, the study showed a significant level of cognitive distraction,” remarked Reno accident lawyer Matthew L. Sharp.
The research AAA conducted showed that activities such as changing the radio station or dialing a phone number could divert a driver’s attention for approximately 27 seconds. Even at nominal speeds, this is more than enough time to cause accidents and serious injuries. It takes only seconds to miss a stop sign, fail to see a changing light, or for a child catching a ball to run out into the street.
“The CDC estimates that 1,153 people are injured every day by a distracted driver; of these, 9 become fatalities. These statistics are the reason legislators have passed laws that prohibit cell phone usage and texting while driving, however, the AAA study shows that these laws may not be effective at stemming the overall rates of injuries or deaths,” lamented Reno accident lawyer Matthew L. Sharp.
When operating a motor vehicle, drivers must maintain their focus on the road. It’s not a time to be multi-tasking or making phone calls. And, while it’s not illegal to use hands-free devices in Nevada, it is most certainly a dangerous gamble that drivers should avoid doing.