Hands-free devices may make the distracted driving problem in GA worse

Many drivers in Georgia believe that when they do not physically hold their cellphone to text or make a phone call and instead use the hands-free device in their vehicle, they are not endangering the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. However, studies recently released by the University of Utah and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveal that these devices still put drivers at a risk of causing motor vehicle accidents that often result in serious injuries or fatalities.

In one of these studies, the infotainment systems in some of the most common auto brands were tested. Each system was used by drivers in three different settings, which included a driving simulator, a residential neighborhood and a laboratory, and then rated on a scale of one to five. A rating of 'one' indicated that the system posed no level of distraction to drivers while a rating of 'five' represented a level of distraction that was comparable to performing complex math problems or memorizing words.

Why hands-free devices require so much concentration

Of the systems that were tested in this study, the ones that received the worst distraction ratings were the ones that made mistakes, even if the driver provided clear and concise instructions. For example, in one of the tests, the driver attempted to call a phone number in an address book, but the hands-free system called 911 instead. As a result, the driver had to hastily end the call before it went through.

According to Fox News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued guidelines to automakers related to dashboard systems to make them safer for drivers and is in the process of developing guidelines for voice-activated systems. However, auto makers are not required to comply with these suggested regulations.

Distracted driving laws in Georgia

To prevent the number of serious injuries that are sustained and the number of fatalities that occur in Georgia as a result of distracted driving, the state has enacted several laws related to cellphone use. For example, all drivers in the state are banned from texting and driving, states Distraction.gov. Although hands-free infotainment systems are a source of dangerous distraction, only novice drivers and bus drivers in the state are prohibited from using them.

Drivers in Georgia who are involved in a motor vehicle collision caused by a distracted driver may sustain injuries that harm their ability to go back to work, school or live a normal daily life. If you were recently harmed in a car accident, speak with an attorney in your area to determine what compensation may be available to you.