Look out! Hands free car electronics can make you a more dangerous driver
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Attention drivers! Your fancy hands free phone technology that lets you
talk or text with both hands on the wheel may not make you as safe as you think.
More and more drivers are sinking extra money into their cars so they can drive and be on the phone hands free...but we have some new information that wrecks the idea that makes you safer.
You want to stay alive?
Give driving all your attention.
To help you, cars are using a lot of computing power to get you to put down that cell phone. They don't always work smoothly. Even if you make peace with your in-dash genie, it may not help you drive safer.
The fact is, even if you have both hands on the wheel if your mind's on your electronics, it is not on the road."
Triple A researchers wired up drivers to measure how well they drove while their fancy hands free systems drove their minds off the track.
Researchers found drivers on basic hands free systems like an earpiece are twice as distracted as drivers not on the phone.
Drivers with elaborate in-dash systems were even more dangerous: three times as distracted.
Tucson driver Alma Valdez says it takes a lot of attention to keep her in-dash system from dialing wrong numbers.
"So there's still buttons you've got to push which is to hang up or to call."
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "And meanwhile, what's going on out on the road?"
Valdez: "Well, there's still cars out there in front of you."
Frank Bell says if he has to talk while driving he keeps it short.
"I got kids. I got enough going on in the back seat."
If you're dangerous even hands free could governments try to ban driving and talking altogether?
We talked to two organizations that track highway safety laws and found more than 3/4 of states ban texting while driving. About a third of the states require hands free but no one's talked seriously about trying to make you hang up and drive.