Just because you are using a hands-free device to talk or text doesn’t mean you are distraction-free. A Washington car accident attorney explains the risks.

Seattle Car Accident Lawyer: Hands-Free Technology Can Still Be Distracting!

Andrew Kim
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Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Wrongful Death and Catastrofic Injuries Attorney

In recent years, the federal government and states across the country have passed laws to minimize driving distractions like talking on cell phones and texting while driving. However, while these laws may help stop car accidents and save lives, traffic safety advocates warn that some driving distractions don’t involve taking your hands off of the wheel.             

Cognitive driving distractions

A recent study, conducted by the University of Utah and funded by AAA, found that hands-free and voice-controlled activities like texting with voice commands and hands-free dialing are just as distracting as using a handheld mobile device. The reason? Researcher believe that giving voice commands is significantly different than talking to someone in the passenger seat – and that taking your brain off of the task of driving has dangers just like taking your eyes or hands off of the task.

What are some examples of cognitive driving distractions?

Here are just a few activities that can take your mind off of the road and possibly cause a serious accident with injuries:

  • Making a phone call using voice commands
  • Sending a text message using voice commands
  • Listening to emails or texts over a car speaker
  • Becoming engrossed in music a radio program, or an audio book
  • Thinking deeply about an issue in your life

What should we do about cognitive driving distractions?

Unlike manual distractions and visual driving distractions, it is extremely difficult to make laws prohibiting cognitive driving distractions. It is not possible for a police officer to know that your mind is off task and that your lack of cognitive focus caused your accident.

So, if we can’t outlaw cognitive driving distractions, what can be done? The AAA and the researchers who conducted the June study of mental driving distractions recommended that automotive companies minimize voice-controlled car features. They also recommended that drivers are educated regarding cognitive driving distractions.

Seattle car accident attorney

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident that you believe was caused or partially caused by a driving distraction, you may wish to speak with a Washington personal injury lawyer. At the Andrew Kim Law Firm, we offer injury victims a free, private consultation. Call us today to learn more: 800.636.3676.