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Driver holding phone to mouth and talking

How Dangerous is Talking on the Phone While Driving?

These days, most people know that texting and driving is dangerous. As an alternative, many have turned to either voice dictation or old-fashioned talking on the phone. But is it possible that these methods of hands-free communication are just as dangerous as actually texting and driving?

Talking on the Phone

You might think talking on the phone is the same as talking to a passenger, but that’s not the case. One study analyzing the past 20 years of cell-phone-related crashes found that even taking a phone call significantly increases your risk of a crash. In fact, about 25% of all car crashes involve either texting or talking on the phone.

The reason, according to the National Safety Council, is that talking on the phone is a cognitive distraction. When you’re listening to the other person’s voice, your brain has to fill in the blank spaces, what they look like, their tone, etc. That makes for a powerful mental distraction which can significantly reduce your spatial awareness and make you more likely to miss oncoming traffic signals and road hazards.

Voice Dictation

As you might expect, voice dictation is also a serious cognitive distraction. Safety studies consistently suggest that texting by voice dictation increases the risk of a crash by about the same amount as manually texting.

The reason is clear. When you’re texting by voice dictation, you’re more concerned with sentence structure, speaking articulately, and perhaps inserting grammar. Not only that, but you have to manually navigate the phone’s layout in your head, telling your personal assistant to write a message, read it back to you, and send it. All of this combined creates a distraction that is just as serious as any other, but with the false sense of security that you’re actually making a safe decision.

Ultimately, there is no safe way to use your phone while driving. The best thing you can do is eliminate the distraction completely by either putting it on “do not disturb” mode or turning it off entirely.

If you or someone you love were seriously injured by a distracted driver, we can fight for you. If you’d like an experienced Connecticut accident attorney from RisCassi & Davis, P.C. to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (860) 245-2412 or send us an email!