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Cell Phone Use Can Lead to Car Accidents, Even With Hands-Free Devices

Posted on in Car Accidents

Milwaukee accident lawyerThe use of cell phones and other types of handheld electronic devices has grown significantly over the last couple of decades, and it is likely to continue to increase in the future. The dangers of using electronic devices while driving has become well-known, and to prevent car accidents, talking on cell phones or texting while driving has been discouraged. Many states, including Wisconsin, have passed laws prohibiting drivers from using handheld devices while behind the wheel. However, drivers are still allowed to use hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets or speaker systems that connect with their phones. While these types of devices are often seen as safe ways to make phone calls while driving, they may also contribute to dangerous motor vehicle accidents.

Are Hands-Free Devices Safer Than Handheld Devices?

Distracted driving can involve three components: visual distractions in which a person is not looking at the road, manual distractions in which a person uses their hands for tasks other than driving, and cognitive distractions in which a person pays attention to non-driving conversations or activities. While hands-free devices can reduce manual distractions and visual distractions (although a person may still need to look at and touch a phone to make and receive calls), cognitive distractions will still be present while a driver is carrying on a conversation with someone.

The false sense of security provided by hands-free devices is based on the myth of multitasking. While many people believe that they can complete multiple tasks at once, putting one’s attention toward one task will reduce the amount of mental energy used for other tasks. By taking part of their attention away from driving, drivers become more likely to miss important details, and they may be unable to react in time to the sudden movements of vehicles or pedestrians and take action to avoid a collision. In fact, research shows that a person’s field of vision narrows by as much as 50% while they are talking on the phone, and this greatly increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident.

Studies have also looked at whether laws restricting drivers to using hands-free devices have actually improved public safety. One study examined the rates of insurance claims for car accidents in three states and the District of Columbia before and after these types of laws were implemented, and it found that there was no decrease in the number of accidents. Unfortunately, as much as people would like to believe otherwise, any use of cell phones or electronic devices can be a dangerous form of distracted driving that can lead to car accidents and serious injuries.

Contact Our Milwaukee Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a collision that you believe was caused by distracted driving, Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can gather evidence to show that the other driver acted negligently. We will provide you with legal representation to ensure that you will receive compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Milwaukee, WI car accident lawyers today by calling 414-271-1440.

Sources:

https://mindfultechnics.com/hands-free-devices-are-no-safer-than-hand-held-phones-while-driving/

https://www.nsc.org/workplace/resources/infographics/hands-free-is-not-risk-free

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