Could Hands-Free Distractions Still Mean More Florida Car Accidents?
In Florida, there is no ban on using cell phones and driving. Even so, many drivers are switching to phone applications which allow them to text hands-free. The applications read back text messages and allow drivers to deliver text messages by speaking their messages and then converting the audio file into text. However, police are worried that these phone applications may give drivers only the illusion of greater safety.
Police in Florida and across the country are worried about distracted driving. Distracted driving has been shown to decrease response times and cause accidents. In fact, many experts equate distracted driving accidents with Florida drunk driving accidents – both distracted drivers and drunk drivers are dangerous because they have poor motor skills and cannot focus on the road in a safe manner.
Cell phones are considered a key distraction, because during texting drivers must avert their eyes from the road for several seconds at a time – more than enough time to cause a serious Florida pedestrian accident or traffic accident. There are now five apps on the market which can covert texts into voicemail and spoken messages into texts. The apps are legal in every state because they do not require a driver to hold their device while driving. However, experts worry that the apps are just another way for distracted drivers to drive distracted.
Customers have responded well to the apps, some claiming that they have no time to pull over to send a text or place a call. Some also say that the apps are a more realistic option for distracted driving. Indeed, many polls and studies seem to suggest that some drivers will continue to try to text and drive or talk and drive. The apps at least ensure that their eyes stay on the road and their hands stay on the wheel as they do so.
However, police officers and other experts say that distracted driving is more about the mind than it is about just the hands and eyes. Even with a handless device, drivers can easily become distracted by their phone conversations or text messages and can still easily cause an accident. Some even worry that the new technology itself may be a distraction to drivers.