Although driver distractions come in many forms, cellphone usage continues to be one of the most common causes of inattention. As Rhode Island laws prohibit drivers from using hand-held devices while driving, many drivers may have turned to using certain types of hands-free devices while out on the open road. While at first glance, it might seem as though these devices are much safer than the alternative and may help prevent distraction-related motor vehicle accidents, recent studies indicate there is still a great deal of risk involved.
According to the study, one of the most troubling aspects of using a hands-free device pertains to the brain’s ability to multitask. The study states that while attempting to carry on a phone conversation via a hands-free device while driving, a person’s mind is still left bouncing between the two tasks. Not only can this make it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand, but it could also reduce reaction times.
This study also indicates that the minds of those who send out or listen to a text message using a hands-free device may still linger on the information for nearly 30 seconds. Those who are busy contemplating what to say or processing information from a conversation may find it nearly impossible to focus on what lies ahead. Even those who choose to wait until arriving at their destinations to make a call or reply to a task may still be at risk should they encounter someone who attempts to multitask while driving.