Michigan residents may be familiar with the serious hazard of texting while behind the wheel of a vehicle. This issue has been a hot topic, with educational campaigns and legislative efforts targeting the need for hands-free driving. However, the issue of distraction extends beyond that of use of the hands to operate smartphones and other devices, and dangers are not completely eradicated just because hands-free technology is used for communicating while driving.
The brain can be distracted by any call, regardless of the method used to facilitate the conversation. However, many vehicle manufacturers have provided a sense of safety by incorporating hands-free technologies into the dashboards of their models. Many drivers assume that the presence of such features implies safety, but infotainment features can actually be quite distracting. A touchscreen radio requires a driver’s attention for programming, switching stations, or ejecting a CD, making it comparable to a traditional radio in a vehicle. Multitasking with such equipment still diverts attention from the road.
Car accidents can be quite severe when a distraction engages hands, eyes, and the brain as in the case of texting and driving. While one’s eyes are still on the road during a hands-free call, there is also competition for attention not only during the call but also in the time prior to and following it. Some employers may be setting the best example for drivers across the country as they ban all cellphone communication for employees driving during work hours.
Some distracted driving accidents can be more serious than others, especially in cases that draw a driver’s eyes away from the road. Such incidents can leave little time for drivers to correct their speed or path, which could result in more serious injuries in case of a collision. Those who have been injured by an inattentive driver may want to have legal assistance in demonstrating that the lack of attention by such a motorist constituted negligence.