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Do Hands-Free Devices Prevent Distracted Driving?

How Safe Are Those Hands-Free Devices Anyway?

Distracted driving has become a major cause of traffic collisions as people multitask while behind the wheel of a car. According to the National Safety Council, the number of people who died in traffic accidents in 2019 while driving with distraction as the cause rose 10 percent to 3,142. When California’s ban on hand-held cell phones went into effect, did it really make many changes to the number of accidents and deaths on the roadways?  

The Number of Motorists Who Use Hand-Held Cell Phones 

The NSC reported that the number of motorists who still use hand-held cell phones while driving has dropped dramatically from 5.2 percent to 2.9 percent in 2019. However, the use of electronic devices while driving increased an amazing 1,300 percent between 2005 and 2019, and cell phone usage isn’t the only culprit. 

Hands-Free Devices: Are They Safe?

Hands-free devices haven’t been shown to be that much safer, according to studies that have been performed. The NSC points out that hands-free devices are also distracting. While they may not make use of the hands directly, they do remove the driver’s attention from the task of driving safely.

Leading Causes of Distracted Driving

Avoiding the following practices can reduce the risk of an accident. Some of the leading distractions exhibited by motorists and how to avoid them include the following:

  • Texting while driving is the number one distraction among motorists. Texting has been shown to have been a factor in 25 percent of all traffic collisions in 2020.
  • Accessing GPS is a major cause of distracted driving. Mounting your GPS where it is easily visible from the driver’s seat and turning the sound up can help.
  • Pets and children are a distraction while driving. Making sure the children are wearing seat restraints and giving them something to keep themselves occupied might help. Dogs can be belted into the seat or placed in a carrier if smaller.
  • Chatting with passengers can be a major form of distracted driving. This is one of the reasons teenagers often get into a traffic collision. Keeping your conversations at a minimum can help.
  • Eating and drinking in the car while driving is common but is also a form of distracted driving. Drive-thrus are around because so many people do it. It’s much safer to eat inside or in the parking lot before you continue on your journey.
  • Performing personal grooming while driving may sound ridiculous to some, but many people do it. From applying makeup and combing their hair to shaving with an electric razor, driving your car isn’t the right place to do this. If you can’t do your personal grooming before you leave home then wait until you arrive at your destination and are safely parked instead of risking serious injuries in a traffic accident.
  • Adjusting anything from your radio to climate controls takes your hands, eyes, and focus off of the traffic and roadway and is a form of distracted driving. Adjusting your climate control and radio is better before you leave or after you arrive at your destination.

In the following video, Napa personal injury lawyer Ed Smith explains how to avoid some of the common causes of distracted driving:

Napa Personal Injury Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, a Napa personal injury lawyer. Driving distraction-free is one easy way you can reach your destination more safely. However, if a negligent motorist injures you, you may want to find out if you can place a compensation claim to recover the cost of your medical expenses, lost wages and for your pain and suffering. You are welcome to contact us for our free and friendly advice at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. You can reach us online also.

The injury attorneys at have been helping Napa residents since 1982 to obtain the compensation they deserve for all types of traffic accidents.

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Photo attribution:; Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

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