With President’s Day weekend passing, auto manufacturers are not about to cancel holiday specials that apply to many new models. Most will continue such sales until February 28. This means that many of the technological upgrades that may not commonly be available (because they are cost prohibitive) will be so now. One of the most popular are hands free systems that allow drivers to make calls by pressing a button on the car’s steering wheel. These systems have gained popularity because of the notion that they are safe to use while driving.
However, there are some who don’t believe so. The National Safety Council reported that hands free systems are no safer than using a cell phone while behind the wheel. The NSC essentially relies on studies finding that the brain simply cannot process enough information to operate a car and the hands free system at the same time. It would be like trying to dialing a phone while reading one’s email at the same time. Essentially, a driver can only do one thing safely at a time; and not both.
As such, it is worth noting that even though a driver is using a hands free system may be safer than a cell phone in some situations, it still may be dangerous to use such a system. After all, the law imposes a duty on all drivers to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. If that duty is breached (by failing to pay attention to the road while using a cell phone, regardless of whether it is hands free) the driver could be held liable.