You likely hear a lot about newer Missouri vehicles coming equipped with hands-free technology. Supposedly such technology allows you to safely talk or text on your cellphone while driving. But is this really true?

The National Safety Council warns that distracted driving has become a huge problem in America over the past several years that has resulted in thousands of injuries and deaths across the country. And cellphone usage while driving is one of its main causes.

Distracted driving hallmarks

You can become distracted while driving in the following three distinct ways:

  1. Manually by taking your hands off the steering wheel
  2. Visually by taking your eyes off the road
  3. Mentally by thinking about something other than your driving

While hands-free technology stops you from succumbing to the first type of distraction when using your cellphone while behind the wheel, it does nothing to stop or even reduce the other two types. In fact, it likely will shock you to learn that any time you talk or text while driving, even hands-free, your brain becomes 33% less able to process all the movement that surrounds you. Worse yet, it becomes 50% less able to see and interpret the stationary objects around you.

Despite myths to the contrary, your brain can do only one thing at a time. Therefore you cannot drive safely at the same time that you talk or text with your friends and family. It is just not possible. Your best strategy consists of keeping your cellphone in your pocket or purse whenever you drive — and the entire time you are driving. It does not take a genius to figure out that putting your cellphone usage on hold while driving is far preferable to having to put your life on hold while recovering from the serious injuries you likely will suffer in a car crash.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.