How can distractions increase crash risk?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2020 | Car Accidents

In New York, law enforcement and safety experts focus on distracted driving. Distractions come in many forms on the road. Some people use techniques or technology to combat some types of distracted driving. Hands-free tech falls into this category. 

But how safe is hands-free technology? Today we will look at how this tech may in fact increase the risk of crashes for drivers. 

Cognitive distractions and crash risks 

The National Safety Council states that hands-free devices do not guarantee risk-free driving. In fact, they are something of a distraction in and of themselves. This is because hands-free tech introduce cognitive distractions to the driver. Anything that takes the driver’s mind off of the task at hand is a cognitive distraction. In this case, that task is driving. A cognitive distraction may include listening to music. It can even include holding conversations with passengers. 

Physical and visual distraction dangers 

Hands-free tech addresses two other areas of driver distraction instead. These areas are physical and visual distractions. Physical distractions involve anything that removes a driver’s hands from the wheel. Visual distractions take their eyes from the road. Hands-free tech allows you to operate technological devices without ever doing this. 

But each individual distraction hosts a lot of risky possibilities. You travel the distance of a football field in 3 seconds on the freeway. This means taking your eyes off the road for 3 seconds could result in a crash. Taking your hands off of the wheel may have a similar impact. These distractions are dangerous together. They are still dangerous on their own. This makes them an even bigger risk factor.