Drivers are constantly reminded about the dangers of cell phone use while driving and are strongly admonished to avoid texting while driving, which is also illegal in most states, including Virginia. However, thanks to the rise in onboard vehicle technology and Bluetooth devices, many drivers do not realize that hands-free phone conversations are often just as dangerous as holding the phone to their ears. Multiple studies have concluded that these hands-free options cause the same amount of focus to be taken away from the things the driver should be concentrating on while behind the wheel.

Distracting Conversation

The National Safety Council points out that, when it comes to cell phone conversations behind the wheel, the distraction is caused primarily by the call itself, not the use of a hand-held phone. It is easy for a driver to become engrossed in a conversation and to all but forget about the task of driving safely. While talking on a hands-free device may superficially seem similar to conversing with a passenger, it is, in reality, much different. A passenger can help be aware of the road as well, serving as another set of eyes. He or she can stop talking or pause the conversation when needed to keep everyone safe. The person on the other end of a cell phone call can do none of those things.

Increased Distractions

In addition to conducting cell phone conversations, hands-free devices are also being used now to send messages, search for radio stations, and to get driving directions. It turns out, these actions can be extremely distracting as well. According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, it can take as long as 27 seconds for a driver’s attention to refocus on the road after using a hands-free device to dial a number or send a voice-to-text message. Too much can happen in half a minute at highway speeds, and the risks just are not worth it.

Distracted Driving Accident?

Distracted driving is a very real danger on the roads, and our personal injury firm has reported on multiple accidents caused by drivers who were engaged in texting, accessing social media, and other deadly distracted driving behaviors. Despite the known dangers, many drivers still continue to engage in distracted driving behaviors, causing serious injuries that leave innocent victims facing overwhelming physical and financial issues to deal with.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the at-fault driver. Our injury firm also offers a free car accident injury guide, which covers topics such as what damages can be claimed, how much a claim may be worth, and how passenger injury cases are different. Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation.

 

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