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Hands-Free, Is It Really Safer?

Does Hands-free Really Make Driving More Dangerous

Hands-free -Driver talking on mobile

For many years now the issue of mobile phones and whether their use in cars should be allowed has been a contentious one. Despite the law that came into effect on March 1st, 2017, which states that it is illegal to be driving or indeed in a car with the engine on whilst holding your phone. Those drivers who wish to use a mobile whilst in their car must use a hands-free set with Bluetooth, even touching your phone to pick up a call is against the law.

There are however many motoring groups and organisations who feel that this is still not enough to protect road users.

Are phones a distraction hands-free or not?

Have you ever been walking down the road only to be bumped into by someone using their mobile phone, someone so absorbed in their conversation that they did not notice you?  We bet they were still so absorbed they didn’t apologise either. Whilst bumping into someone at walking pace is unlikely to result in much more than a bumped rear; and even then, only if they bump you with enough force to knock you off your feet, imagine the same scenario with someone in a car.

Drivers can say what they like but phone calls can be absorbing, they can be maddening and the can even contain bad news that will distract us; when that distraction is going on for someone who is in control of a vehicle it’s easy to see how a second’s loss of concentration can lead to an accident. It doesn’t matter whether the driver is holding the phone or using hands-free, many experts argue that the way in which the phone call is taken is not the issue but the phone call itself.  And the statistics don’t lie, studies have shown that at least one third of drivers are less likely to pay attention to their driving, even when they are using hands free.

Did you know?

Many drivers do not actually know the law in full when it comes to mobile usage in cars. It doesn’t matter if your car isn’t moving, for example if you are stopped at traffic lights, your mobile should not be in your hands when your engine is running. Whilst many people would grumble, it probably would be far simpler if the use of mobile phones, hands-free or otherwise was banned in cars.

Hands-free -Driver using mobile

If you absolutely need to make a call then surely it is better to find a safe place to stop, turn your engine off and then make your call. Likewise, how many calls that you receive on your phone are really that important that they require you to answer them immediately, people can leave a message or ring back.

Anything that takes your full attention off your driving is surely something that can make your driving more dangerous. Of course, it is too early to check the effect of the new law on accident figures, but the sad fact is that unless we change our habits when it comes to mobile phone usage then it is highly likely that there will be vehicle related accidents as a result of mobile phone usage that could have been avoided.

What are your thoughts on mobile phones and driving, do you agree with the hands-free law or do you think a total ban on calls when driving?