Where does hands-free tech fail?

Posted on July 27, 2020

Utah drivers like you rely on handheld devices even in the car. You might have your GPS navigation system attached to your dashboard. Maybe you have a job that requires the use of a phone, such as a ride-share or food delivery driver. 

Hands-free tech aims to combat the dangers of distracted driving. But how successful is it? 

What does hands-free tech aim to fix?

The National Safety Council states that hands-free is not risk-free. In short, using hands-free tech does not guarantee your safety. First, hands-free tech tries to make handheld devices safer to use in cars. As mentioned above, there are legitimate reasons to use a phone while driving. But this usage can still increase your risk of getting into a crash. Hands-free tech often focuses on freeing your hands and eyes up. Much of it revolves around voice technology. For example, you can speak your commands to an app and it will reply. 

In this way, hands-free tech combats two areas of driver distraction. These are physical and visual distractions. Anything that takes your hands from the wheel is a physical distraction. What takes your eyes from the road is a visual one. 

Hands-free tech and cognitive distractions

But hands-free tech cannot keep your mind on driving. This means it cannot combat cognitive distractions. In fact, hands-free tech sometimes encourages cognitive distractions. This is because any type of phone use is distracting. This includes legitimate use, such as navigating with a GPS. 

Being aware of this is crucial for all drivers. You may fall into a false sense of security if you think hands-free tech is 100 percent safe. In reality, it is not, and it cannot promise you that safety.