There have been many initiatives in California to cut down on the risk of distracted driving. Hands-free technology aims to help reach that goal. But some studies show that it does not significantly improve driver safety.

The National Safety Council states that hands-free technology still results in distracted driving. Their campaign slogan is “hands-free is not risk-free”. This succinct statement highlights the crux of the problem. Hands-free devices only remove one component of risky driving. To drive safely, a driver must have their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on driving. Hands-free devices allow you to keep your hands on the wheel. But what about the other two issues?

Some devices allow for voice commands. While this lets you keep your eyes on the road, it does not ensure that you remain mentally aware and focused. In fact, some studies show that drivers engaged in conversation suffer from high levels of distraction. Some studies showed that conversing drivers missed up to 50 percent of the scenery they pass. This is like driving with one eye shut or with half of your rear-view mirror missing.

One of the biggest risks of hands-free technology is that it can lull drivers into a false sense of security. They believe that they will be safe from distractions. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Anyone who uses hands-free technology should know it does not guarantee safety. This can give drivers more incentive to focus, with or without the addition of hands-free technology. This can help cut down on crashes in the future.