Although they may be helpful, do hands free devices prevent accidents?

In our technologically advanced society, almost everyone today uses a cell phone. Distracted driving is a serious problem and the cause of many accidents across the country. Because of the problems associated with using cell phones and other devices, Arizona law requires drivers to use only hands free devices. Some people wonder, do hands free devices prevent accidents? The answer may not be clear. While using hands free devices should theoretically make driving safer, are accidents being prevented because of their use?

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a very real concern, not only here in Arizona, but also across the United States. It is estimated that about 10% of accidents are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving consists of a number of different activities including the use of cell phones. Additional types of distracted driving include eating, reading, applying makeup, and talking to passengers, among others. It is easy to understand how these activities could cause someone to take their eyes off the road. If you are traveling at a speed of 55 mph and you take your eyes off the road for just three seconds, you have traveled about the length of two football fields.

Arizona Hands Free Laws

The law in many Arizona jurisdictions prohibits drivers from using a handheld device for texting while driving. Drivers are allowed to talk on phone calls and to utilize hands free devices. For example, a driver is allowed to use his cell phone on speaker. Police are able to give tickets for using handheld devices for texting. Fines imposed typically start at $100 and jump to a minimum of $250 if there was an accident. Drivers need to be aware of the local legislation when driving in various jurisdictions. The best option is for drivers to stop using handheld devices altogether while driving.

Using Hands Free Devices

Hands free devices including speakerphones and voice activated apps are helpful in improving driver awareness. However, the use of hands free devices does not completely eliminate the potential for danger. Those who have conversations on their phones while driving could become distracted simply by talking. People need to be able to use their devices without having to manipulate them. For example, if you need to tap an app, you are still required to take your eyes off the road, even for just a second. Devices that are completely hands free are the only safe way to stay focused on driving.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding Do Hands Free Devices Prevent Accidents,  or other personal injury matters, call 480.461.5300. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.