The dangerous myth circulating throughout the country assures you that you can safely use your cellphone to talk or text while driving as long as you use hands-free technology to do so. Unfortunately, if you believe this myth, you put yourself, your passengers and all other motorists around you at high risk for an accident and resulting injuries.
The National Safety Council explains that distracted driving represents the number one cause of accidents, and cellphone usage while behind the wheel represents the number one type of distracted driving today.
Cellphones and distracted driving
You can become distracted while driving in the following three ways:
While hands-free cellphone usage theoretically allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and therefore not become physically distracted, such is seldom the case. Why? Because, whether you realize it or not, you talk with your hands as much as with your voice when you engage in a cellphone conversation or verbal text exchange.
Cellphone usage, even hands-free, while driving likewise causes visual distraction since your brain cannot do two things at the same time. Studies show that during a cellphone conversation or text exchange, your brain can process only about two-thirds of the movement around you that your eyes see. Worse yet, it can process only about half of the stationery objects your eyes see.
Finally, your cognitive abilities nosedive when you talk or text at the same time as you drive. You unconsciously pay more attention to your cellphone interactions than you do to your top driving responsibility: driving defensively and responsibly so as to avoid accidents.