NOSHA News April 2015
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is the National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The following is an excerpt from www.nsc.org highlighting the dangers of using hands-free devices while driving.
The Hands—Free Myth
Do you think using a hands-free device—whether it’s an earpiece or a dashboard infotainment system— is the safe way to drive and talk on the phone?
If so, you’re not alone. A recent National Safety Council poll shows that 80% of U.S. drivers believe hands-free cell phones are safer than using handheld.
However, it’s just not true. More than 30 studies show that using hands-free systems provide drivers no safety benefit. Even with both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, your mind is distracted from the task of driving. Think about it, people have been driving stick shift for decades—the issue is not about keeping two hands on the wheel.
The NSC poll also found that 53% of respondents believe hands-free devices must be safe to use if they are built into vehicles. Add to that many state laws requiring people to use hands-free, and it’s no wonder there’s confusion.
The results are in:
1. Hands-free features in dashboard actually increase mental distraction
2. Using voice-to-text is more distracting than typing texts while driving
3. Drivers who text with their hands or voice (using speech-to-text systems) keep their eyes on the road less often and have reaction times twice as slow.
Learn why at nsc.org/cellfree
NSC.org offers a lot of great material to promote distracted driving awareness at your workplace. Visit the website to download posters, fact sheets, infographics and workplace cell phone policy kits.