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Studies Show Danger of Hands-Free Texting While Driving

Victor Lewin - Monday, January 12, 2015

Individuals in Nova Scotia may be aware that texting while driving can be dangerous, but they might think that hands-free texting is less of an issue. However, studies show that this still can present a dangerous distraction for drivers. Drivers who are distracted consistently perform more poorly than drivers who are focused on their task.

A report issued by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation states that studies show drivers tend to glance away from the road with a similar amount of frequency when they are using hands-free texting as when they are texting in the traditional manner. Often, this is because drivers are checking the accuracy of the message.

Research also indicates that distraction is more dangerous for younger and less experienced drivers. Humans do not multitask effectively, but experienced drivers tend to need less conscious focus in order to still drive safely. Novice drivers are at a greater risk than experienced drivers for causing a crash due to cell phone usage. However, studies also indicate that the safest approach for all drivers is to minimize distractions as much as possible.

At present, hands-free texting does not appear to be an adequate solution to the problem of driver distraction and the auto accidents that distractions can cause.If you need to use your phone while on the road, please pull over and find a safe spot to park before using your device.

An individual who has been injured in a car accident as a result of distracted driving may wish to speak with a lawyer. Even if the driver's behavior was not illegal, it still might be considered negligent, and a civil suit might be successful. Negligence means that the driver ignored a duty of care, so if a court agrees that the driver was not taking the necessary and expected precautions to drive safely, that driver may be found negligent.

Source: Traffic Injury Research Foundation , "Driver distraction and hands-free texting while driving ", Daniel Mayhew, Robyn Robertson, Steve Brown and Ward Vanlaar, Jan. 6, 2015

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