Many drivers realize the dangers associated with texting while operating a vehicle and other behaviors that are against the law in many states. However, some may wonder whether it is safe to use a hands-free device while driving. After all, if someone can hold a conversation with another person over the phone without using their hands, they will be able to keep their hands on the wheel and should be less distracted than if they were holding a phone with one of their hands. However, hands-free devices can also be very distracting, regardless of whether they are legal to use or not.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial motor vehicle operators are prohibited from using handheld devices while driving. However, they are allowed to use hand-free devices, so long as they follow certain guidelines. For example, a driver cannot use a hands-free device if they have to reach for their phone in a dangerous way, and they must be able to start or end the call by pressing only one button.
Although hands-free devices may be legal, they are not necessarily safe. Phone use and any form of communication (such as talking to others in the vehicle) can be distracting from a mental standpoint, and drivers should be aware of the hazards associated with using any type of electronic device behind the wheel. Sadly, some drivers have caused accidents because they became distracted by hands-free devices which they thought were safe, not realizing the risks associated with this behavior.