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Is hands-free driving safe?

If you are like most people in Louisiana, one of the first things that comes to your mind when you think about distracted driving is someone holding their cell phone up to their ear while talking and driving or maybe someone sending and receiving text messages while they are driving. Certainly these actions can be highly dangerous and are forms of distracted driving but they are far from the only dangers that exist within the realm of distracted driving.

Research conducted by the AAA Foundation last year took a look at distractions that require drivers’ mental attention or eyes. These cognitive or visual distractions it seems can be extremely dangerous. Interestingly the single most dangerous distraction uncovered by the research was the programming of navigation systems, something that has become almost routine for many drivers.

The move to hands-free systems has been promoted as a safe alternative for drivers yet the research shows that many of the new systems are so cumbersome to use that the benefits of being hands-free may actually be negated by the increased cognitive abilities and time it takes for drivers to figure things out and complete their tasks. This was found to be the case with systems in several makes of cars from domestic to imports.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to educate drivers in Louisiana about the true risks associated with distracted driving that go far beyond the handheld use of a phone while behind the wheel.

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