Technology has grown over the years, we have adopted new ways to use cell phones in cars. Hands-free technology has become a safer route to using cell phones. Hands-free is talking or using speak to text without taking your hands off the wheel. In the Article Minnesota Text Messaging and Cellphone Laws, “According to Minnesota’s office of traffic safety, distracted or inattentive driving is a factor in one in four crashes in Minnesota, resulting in at least seventy deaths and three hundred and fifty serious injuries per year” Congress is working on passing laws to ban any phone use in the car that isn’t hand-free.
People think that passing this law will help eliminate accidents and deaths each year. When evidence shows even Hands-free driving should be illegal in Minnesota.
In the article Impactful distraction: Talking while driving poses dangers that people seem unable to see. Some people argue, hands-free doesn’t mean you’re not distracted. Research is showing that millions of people are now having conversations in their cars with both hands on the wheel and two eyes on the wheel.
It’s the conversation that can distract you (Seppa, 1). There isn’t a single state in the U.S that bans adult drivers from using hands-free. A few states ban bus drivers or beginner drivers (Seppa,2). According to New England Journal of Medicine, “the average risk of getting into a collision was four times as great when people were on the phone than when they weren’t.
Phones with hands-free option offered no advantage” (Seppa, 2). Many States and drivers do not understand of the risk of hands-free driving, believing it’s a safe option. Scientists at Complutense university of Madrid rode in cars of drivers and distracted them. Having them make cell phone calls using hands-free keeping their eyes and hands on the road. Special vision – tracking devices showed that conversations distracted them making them use extra thought and disputing visual scanning, speed control and hurts their decision-making ability (Seppa,3). Text to talk was the most distracting and using the radio was the least. It resulted in less scanning for hazards, using mirrors less and lack of focus at crosswalks/four way stops (Seppa,3).
However, when we talk and drive, its true we always see everything in front of us. Driving distracted causes, us to multitasking focusing on two things at once. According to sociologist Clifford Nass of Stanford University, “It’s all part of cognitive load. When we communicate with a person we can’t see, we create a different image of them.” (Seppa,6). Metacognitive is the ability to snap to attention, scan intersections, assess cars apart and asses the drivers around you (seppa,6). When you lose your metacognitive awareness, people do not notice their bad driving, nor do they remember it (Seppa,7).
Requiring the use of hands-free devices discriminates against people who have older cars. In the article Georgia drivers prepare for hands-free cellphone law, Georgia drives just had the bill passed July 1st, 2018 allowing the use of hands-free calling and texting in cars only. You maybe not touch or hold your phone when driving, but you may use commands (Rhone Nedra, 1). You are only allowed to use your cell phone in case of emergency (Nedra,1). Spiro Winsett said, “half the time, I don’t even know where my phone is because I don’t care. People get frustrated with me.” My personal testimony, When I was in a Junior in high school. I got into a car crash that could be easily avoid if I had a Bluetooth or hands-free device. I had a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta, I was on the phone with my mom leaving to go play football. That’s when I dropped my phone on the ground under the steering wheel. I looked at the road first to make sure I could look down to grab it. I went to pick it up off the ground. I looked back at the road, the cars were slowed way down. I had to slam on my brakes. I rear ended the car ahead of me. I told the truth about what happened. The officer gave me a reckless driving ticket. If I had a hands-free device, I could have keep talking with my phone on the ground. That day will forever help me stop using my cell phone when I’m in the car driving.
You can create or buy your own hands-free adapter or device. Sidney Maurice has had some experience with not being able to use her cell phone. There has been a teenage hands-free law since 2010. She always kept her phone in a magnetic car mount (Nedra,2). Lauren Fernandez does a lot of business in her car. Her car does have Bluetooth, but she prefers a car mount and USB port for hands-free talking. She has an iPhone and Siri is a big help (Nedra,2). After my crash wrecking my car.I went to the store and bought a nice car mount. If someone calls me, I just need to hit answer and use speaker phone. You can also buy handsets to talk and listen to people.
The pro will be less deaths each year and safer roads. The Article, The Dangers of driving While Distracted shows that United Sates traffic deaths are higher. There are different reasons, but some experts say that the connection to cars and smartphones is a big factor, even pedestrians and cyclists (Greg Gardner, 2). “A nationally representative survey by Consumer Reports in October 2017 found that forty one percent of drivers with said they has used their hands to text while driving, and eight percent admitted to watching a video on their phone while driving.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic deaths have increase 5.6 percent from 2015 to 2016. Just a year before that it raised 8.4 percent (Gardner, 2). A survey of six hundred and twenty-two licensed drivers who all own smartphones, eighty eight percent flavor states restricting texting while driving. While eighty three percent support a total ban on texting while driving (Gardner,5-6).
Overall, we can see how distracting driving is more of an issue then we make it out to be. Every time I get into my friend’s car, he never puts down his phone the whole drive. I’m very lucky to be alive and not injured showing from the statistics. If Minnesota can pass even a hands-free law, we would be in better shape but that’s only a start to completely banning cellphones and not being able to use hands-free at all in your car. Minnesota has been working on a bill, In the article ‘Hands-free’ cellphone bill unlikely to become law in Minnesota this year. The bill has been passed through the House, but the Senate has been unsuccessful to pass the bill (Tim Harlow). Goeltz said “Dozens of families will be impacted because they can’t make a decision.” Dayton said, “that the proposal is a “perfectly reasonable limitation.” He added, “How many more deaths are we going to have to endure?” There are sixteen other states ahead of Minnesota that passed a hands-free law (Harlow). Dayton makes a good point; how much is too much before we draw the line and put a stop to this mad-ness.