In Georgia, many campaigns have targeted the risks of driving while distracted. There is an emphasis on distracted driving centered around technology. Considering how prevalent tech is in vehicles these days, this focus makes sense. Plenty of companies come out with hands-free tech that increase your safety. But how safe is hands-free tech in reality?
What is hands-free tech?
The National Safety Council does not believe that hands-free tech is free of all risk. Why is that? In essence, there are three primary distractions that drivers face on the road. These are cognitive, visual and physical distractions. Cognitive distractions involve things like talking to a passenger. Visual distractions include seeing unexpected events on the side of the road. Physical distractions involve things that take your hands from the wheel. Dropping food or changing the radio station are examples.
The dangers of cognitive distraction
Studies show that cognitive distractions have the potential to hold the most danger. Cognitive distractions are the only type of distractions that hands-free tech does not address. It is true that hands-free tech keep your hands on the steering wheel. With the advent of voice-activated commands and speakers, you can also keep your eyes on the road. In this sense, hands-free tech provides some safety.
But what about cognitive distractions? Unfortunately, there is no way for hands-free tech to prevent these. Your GPS reading directions aloud is a cognitive distraction. Audio notifications that you have new messages act as a cognitive distraction. As of right now, there is no way around this. That means hands-free tech cannot really guarantee driver safety in its current state.