Distracted Driving - Hidden Dangers

Date: March 16, 2020

Carrie Kolodji, Risk Control Analyst

Remember: hands-free is not always risk-free 

Using hands-free devices while driving may seem like a safe choice; however, recent data shows that driving while communicating on hands-free devices is not completely risk-free.

As a society, we’re increasingly connected to our smartphones. The average American spends about 5.4 hours a day on the phone. Drivers using a cell phone endanger public safety nationwide, which is why texting and driving has become illegal in 47 states.

Cognitive distraction

Even though your hands are on the steering wheel when you’re using a hands-free set, that doesn't necessarily mean your mind is focused on driving.

According to the National Safety Council, 53 percent of drivers believe that hands-free features must be safe if they’re built into vehicles. Unfortunately, more than 30 studies have shown that hands-free devices don’t make drivers any safer. The brain is distracted while having phone conversations, regardless if you’re using your hands or not.

Losing focus happens in many forms

Many of the features in hands-free solutions were created with efficiency in mind rather than safety. Being on a call, texting, or simply looking at missed notifications can cause an accident.

It’s important to remember that using hands-free devices, or even communicating through a CB radio, can be distracting. The National Safety Council found that even when a driver is looking out the windshield while using a hands-free solution, they can still miss seeing up to 50 percent of what’s around them due to distraction.

What you can do

Efforts to reduce distracted driving make the roads safer for everyone. More than 1,000 people are injured daily in accidents involving distracted drivers. It’s important to take steps to ensure that your employees stay focused.

Here are our quick tips to prevent distracted driving:

  • Have a policy regarding cell phone use in place and enforce it.
  • Encourage drivers to always keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving.
  • Support a safety culture that encourages drivers to focus on driving, perhaps by only placing calls or texting while parked.
  • Consider the installation of dual facing dash cams in your fleet.

Want to learn more about how BITCO can help train your drivers? Click the "Find an Agent" button below and locate an agent near you.

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

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