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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Can Hands-Free Devices Prevent Orange County Distracted Driving Accidents?

California is one of just eight states that have banned hand held cell phone use while driving.  One would think that a cellphone ban would lower the rates of California distracted driving accidents, but statistics suggest this is not true. Since the state’s cell phone ban went into effect in January 2009, the number of distracted drivers has actually increased.
 
A new report published by the National Safety Council suggests that hands-free devices (which are legal in  California) may actually increase the level of driver distraction.  
 
Drivers using cell phones experience three types of distraction:
 
1. Visual distraction takes a driver’s eyes off the road.
2. Manual distraction takes a driver’s hands of the wheel.
3. Cognitive distraction takes a driver’s mind away from driving.
 
Many people believe that hands-free devices prevent driver distraction because they allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.  But, most people realize when they are visually or manually distracted.  When a driver reaches into her purse for a cell phone, she will usually keep her eyes on the road and will try to get her hands back on the wheel as soon as possible.  If a driver is dialing, he will be distracted but still glance back and forth from the screen to the windshield. 
 
When drivers are cognitively distracted, they are often unaware of the distraction.  
 
Drivers who are cognitively distracted have:
 
• Slower Response Time and Reaction Time
• Problems Staying in Lane
 
While hands-free devices prevent visual and manual distraction, they cannot prevent cognitive distraction. The risk of a crash while using a hands-free device is still four times the risk of crashing while not distracted.
 
If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver, you have rights.  The Newport Beach car accident attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie are dedicated to helping injury victims get back on their feet.  We help those who are injured in Orange County car accidents to recover fair insurance compensation for their injuries, property damage, medical costs, and other losses.  To learn more, contact our Orange County car crash lawyers at 866-981-5596.
 
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