To protect your safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we offer telephone and video conferences. Please contact our office today to set up a remote consultation. For more information, read our blog post.

Distracted Driving: Can Hands-Free Devices and Passenger Conversations Be Just as Bad as Holding Your Cellphone?

Many people think that talking on your cellphone while driving is not dangerous, as long as you are using a hands-free Bluetooth device. In fact, many states ─ including Florida ─ do not have bans on the use of hands-free devices while driving, but they do have bans on other cellphone-related activities, such as texting while driving.

However, a recent study by psychologists at the University of Sussex debunks the myth that driving while using a Bluetooth device is safe. On the contrary, the researchers found that hands-free talking while driving may be equally as dangerous as holding a phone to your ear.

Is Using a Hands-Free Device Dangerous?

According to the University of Sussex research, which was published by the Transportation Research journal, when drivers had conversations that sparked their visual imagination:

  • They were less likely to detect road hazards.
  • They were more likely to focus on a smaller area of the road.
  • They had difficulty seeing hazards even when they were directly in front of them.

Further, the researchers concluded that it is likely that having a conversation requires the brain to use more of its visual processing resources than previously considered. As such, the brain is distracted, and drivers are more at risk.

What About Having Passengers in the Vehicle?

The research suggests that it is not just talking on a cellphone, including a hands-free device, that may be dangerous. Having conversations with passengers in the vehicle may also be risky for drivers.

However, passengers may be less dangerous as they will usually moderate the conversation when a road hazard is present, whereas a person on the other end of a phone call has no idea what types of hazards the driver is encountering. A phone conversation is also more challenging for the brain to sustain while driving because non-verbal cues are not possible, whereas non-verbal cues in a face-to-face encounter help to ease the flow of conversation.

Safe Driving Practices - Put Your Phone Away

The study highlights the fact that no matter how safe of a driver you believe you are, talking to someone while driving could very well be too much for your brain to handle. It may in fact be overwhelming, distracting, and dangerous.

While best practices include never using a cellphone or hands-free device while operating a car, you should also consider minimizing conversations with other passengers for optimal safety.

Contact Our Royal Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorneys Now

At the law office of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Ryles, our lawyers in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, are dedicated to helping car accident victims recover the compensation that they need to heal from their injuries.

If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident with a distracted driver, let us help you pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Testimonials Client Testimonials

  • I was injured at work directly due to poor management decisions. I worked as a lifeguard and a child that was in the care of the day care facility on the campus ran away. He was in immediate danger. I… Shona M.
  • I have recommended Jonathan Levy and his law firm to my friends and one of them became his client. I am truly grateful for everything Jonathan Levy and his team have done on my behalf. He is truly a wonderful attorney. Faithe C.
  • Much to my surprise not only did they win my lawsuit but I ended up getting 3 times the original amount I was expecting to get! I could not have been more pleased with the staff and the outcome. Allison M.
  • If it wasn’t for your help, I know I wouldn’t have been able to win my case. I know that it was far away for you to come to Miami but your professionalism was outstanding. I will always recommend you. Maria W.
  • You might say you were even just doing your job, however, I think it’s essential that you realize how fortunate I am to have such a trusted esteemed attorney in my corner, blessed really. Anonymous
See All Testimonials
Write To Us

Have Questions? Need Legal Help?

We invite you to call our office at 561-331-5134 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your injury, illness or disability with one of our experienced lawyers. You can also send us an email.

Our team is happy to talk with you about your situation and what we can do to help you get back on track.

Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Community Support

Our firm is proud to support organizations in the community. To the right are just a few of the community organizations we support:

  • American Lung Association of Florida – Southeast Area
  • Diabetes Research Institute
  • Hospice of Palm Beach County
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Karma Kastles
Read More

West Palm Beach
1401 Forum Way
Sixth Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone: 561-331-5134
Phone: 561-478-2500
West Palm Beach Law Office Map

Port St. Lucie
1660 SW St. Lucie West Blvd
Suite 300
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Phone: 561-331-5134
Port St. Lucie Law Office Map

  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Florida Bar | Board Certified
  • Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S.News | 2020