Like most of the country, it’s illegal to text while driving in Georgia. Texting is a major distraction when it comes to handling the tasks it takes to drive, and many experts believe talking on your cell phone is just as distracting. That’s why Georgia lawmakers have been debating on whether or not our state should ban talking on the cell phone while driving, but there may be a flaw in this legislation that could leave us all at the mercy of distracted drivers.
Can You Really Prevent Distracted Driving with Handsfree Systems?
Georgia legislators have debated turning Georgia into a “handsfree” state for over three years now. House Bill 7—which would ban talking on a cellphone while driving unless you were using a handsfree device—is the latest bill in this fight against distracted driving. However, many wonder if a handsfree bill will really be enough to make our roads safer.
The University of Utah worked with AAA to see if handsfree car systems are really an answer for distracted driving. The researchers used 257 drivers between the ages of 21 and 70 to test the infotainment systems in 10 popular 2015 sedans. They hooked these drivers up to sensors, monitored them with eye tracking cameras, and asked them to use the handsfree functions to complete several tasks while driving. What they found wasn’t comforting.
On a five-point scale, every handsfree system scored between 2.4 and 4.6. The Chevrolet MyLink system scored the best (2.4) but even at its best, the system still distracted drivers for over 15 seconds after completing a task. At 60 mph, that’s a distance of 1,335 feet! The researchers also said there was plenty of scientific evidence out there that handsfree systems are still distracting, but their study shows just how long that distraction can linger.
Does this mean that House Bill 7 isn’t enough to protect us from distracted driving? Should Georgia consider a complete ban on cellphone use while driving? Head over to Twitter and Facebook to tell our Macon personal injury attorneys what you think. You can also stay informed on the latest developments in distracted driving by following our blog.