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Hands free cell phones may not be as safe as you think

The next time you shop for a new car, you may be intrigued by all the interactive functions that are included. Most new cars have some sort of Bluetooth system that can allow you to access songs on your smartphone and play them through the car’s sound system. The car may also allow the driver to dial the phone and make calls as well.

Hands free systems have received a great deal of interest with so many efforts being made to curb distracted driving; especially texting while driving and talking on cell phone. However, questions are being posed as to whether hands free systems are actually safer for drivers.

The National Safety Council believes that they are not. In a recent Insurance Journal report, the NSC referenced a number of studies suggesting that the human brain cannot reasonably focus on the information coming in from car speakers during a call and have the same level of attention to the road. Essentially, since the brain cannot multitask, using hands freed modules while driving is inherently unsafe.

Even with this ominous prediction, drivers still must use reasonable care while behind the wheel.  With This means that they must stay aware of hazards and drive at reasonable speeds. If a driver fails to do these things, and causes an accident, he or she could be held liable. So while hands free modules may not be absolutely safe, they ostensibly provide a safer option compared to handheld cell phones.  In the meantime, the NSC has launched a safety campaign entitled, “Hands free is not risk free.”

Source: “Why Hands-Free Cell Phones are not safer,” April 15, 2014

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