US: drivers believe hands-free devices are safer image

A public opinion poll made by the National Safety Council sees 80% of America’s drivers believing that using the hands-free system with their phones makes driving safer.

Well, with the council, a nonprofit advocacy group citing more than 30 studies, it’s actually wrong – hands-free devices are no safer than just using directly the phone while driving, because “the brain remains distracted by the cell phone conversation.”

“While many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device, it’s just not true,” said David Teater, senior director of transportation initiatives at the Council. “The problem is the brain does not truly multi-task. Just like you can’t read a book and talk on the phone, you can’t safely operate a vehicle and talk on the phone. With some state laws focusing on handheld bans and carmakers putting hands-free technology in vehicles, no wonder people are confused.”

The poll, released in conjunction with a “hands-free is not risk-free” campaign and timed to coincide with the US April Distracted Driving Awareness Month, also sees 53% of drivers believing hands-free systems are safe if they are built in.

In the US, only twelve states and the District of Columbia have already laws in place that ban the use of handheld phones, but no state so far has moved to also ban hands-free devices.

Via Forbes