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Do hands-free devices make things safer?

It is pretty clear that using a cell phone to text, watch videos or do anything where you have to take your eyes off the road is very dangerous. California roadways are definitely safer when drivers do not try to use cell phones behind the wheel. However, if you are like most people, you probably see nothing wrong with using a hands-free device or technology, such as Bluetooth, to make and receive phone calls when you drive. The reality, though, is this may not be as safe as you think it is.

One of the most important aspects of driving besides keeping your eyes on the road is focusing on the road and what is happening around you. According to Live Science, when you talk on the phone, your focus is broken. You use mental imagery when talking to someone to visualize what they are saying. You become focused on the conversation and the other person to the point where you are not focused enough on driving.

Even with a hands-free device, you are not able to maintain the focus you need to drive safely. In essence, using such a device is no better than holding your phone to your ear or even texting when you drive because you are not focusing on driving.

It is important to note that studies show talking to passengers is much different than talking on the phone. Since the person on the phone is not in the vehicle and cannot see what you see, he or she keeps talking regardless of what is going on with traffic or road conditions. A passenger, on the other hand, reacts to these outside things because he or she can see them. So, talking with a passenger is less distracting. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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