Is hands-free cellphone usage really safe?

If you are like most Kentucky residents, you probably have hands-free technology in your car or truck that allows you to use your cellphone while driving without having to touch it. This probably gives you the illusion that you are driving safely even though you are talking or texting on your phone while doing it.

Unfortunately, your illusion is just that: an illusion. The National Safety Council advises that of the nearly 100 people who die every day in a distracted driving crash, most of the distractions involve cellphone usage while driving, including the hands-free type.

Your brain and hands-free usage

While it may seem that using a hands-free device to talk or text on your cellphone while driving keeps you safe since you get to keep both hands on the steering wheel, your hands are not what you should be concerned about. Rather it’s your brain. Despite the general belief that one’s brain can multitask, it cannot do so. Just like a computer, your brain does only one thing at a time, although it can switch from one thing to another at almost breathtaking speed.

Nevertheless, hands-free talking or texting while driving decreases your brain’s capacity to process movement by a full one-third. Its capacity to process the presence of stationary objects around you decreases by half. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that hands-free cellphone usage definitely is not risk-free.

Refraining from any cellphone usage whatsoever still represents your best strategy while driving. This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.