Research casts doubt on safety benefits of going hands-free
About four out of five drivers in the United States say they believe hands-free devices are safer to use while driving than handheld phones, according to a poll by the National Safety Council. However, some research suggests that going hands-free provides only a false sense of security for drivers and those around them.
Research casts doubt on safety benefits of hands-free devices
The NSC says that more than 30 scientific studies have demonstrated that hands-free phones are just as dangerous as handheld phones when used while driving. This is because the brain remains distracted while using a hands-free device, even though the eyes and hands may remain free.
For many drivers, it is easy to dismiss the idea that mental distractions can be dangerous, but the fact is that they are. Preoccupied drivers are slower to react to changing traffic conditions and less alert to potential hazards, both of which increase the risk of car accidents.
It is no wonder that so many U.S. drivers are confused about the safety risks of hands-free cellphone use, since these devices are widely touted as a safer alternative to using a handheld phone while driving. While most states place at least some restrictions on handheld cellphone use, none have banned the use of hands-free cellphones for adult drivers. Meanwhile, many newer cars boast built-in hands-free systems as a selling point, reinforcing the idea that this type of technology is safe to use while driving.
Georgia’s distracted driving laws
In Georgia, school bus drivers and novice drivers under the age of 18 are barred from all types of cellphone use, including hands-free as well as handheld. Other drivers, however, are only prohibited from using their cellphones to text.
Because texting is generally even more risky than talking on the phone while driving, this is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of limiting cellphone distractions. However, most adult are still permitted to talk on their phones while driving in Georgia.
Distracted drivers can be liable to crash victims
Although using a cellphone while driving is not necessarily illegal under Georgia law, this does not mean that there are no consequences for those who cause accidents while doing so.
Drivers who are distracted by cellphones can be held liable in civil court for the damages they cause. As a result, injured crash victims and their families are often able to recover monetary compensation for their medical expenses, hospitalization costs, lost income and other losses stemming from the crash. To learn more about your legal options after a crash, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in your area.