Nova Scotia Car Accident Claims – Hands Free Cell Phones Don’t Reduce Traffic Risks

by John McKiggan

I was driving to work this morning and some lady talking on her cell phone almost sideswiped me when she swerved into my lane of traffic. She wasn’t holding the cell phone. She was using a headset. But she didn’t have a clue about the rush hour traffic that was surrounding her.

Hand Held Cell Phone Ban
It has now been three years since Nova Scotia introduced its law requiring drivers to use hands free cell phones.

However, recent research suggests that the use of hands free cell phones does not reduce the risk associated with cell phones and traffic safety.

The debate about cell phone use while driving basically boils down into two groups. Those who support a partial ban which prohibits the use of hand held cell phones while driving (the Nova Scotia solution) and those jurisdictions that require a total ban on the use of hand held and hands free cell phones while driving.

Cognitive Distraction

The debate revolves around a principle known and “cognitive distraction”. In 2006 psychologists at the University of Utah published a study showing that drivers talking on hand held or hands free cell phones showed the same level of impairment as drunk drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published studies indicating that whether a driver uses a hand held or hands free phone the level of cognitive distraction is enough to significantly impair a driver’s performance.

The National Safety Council has published a report entitled Understanding the Distracted Brain…Why Driving While Using Hands Free Cell Phones is Risky Behavior”. According to the report drivers using hands free cell phones have a tendency to “look at” but not “see” objects. The report estimates that drivers using hands free cell phones fail to see up to 50% of the information in their driving environment.

It’s pretty clear that the lady that almost crashed into me today didn’t “see” the 1627 kilograms of metal that was driving beside her. I think my car’s horn interrupted her conversation because she gave me a nasty look.

Drive safe everyone.

Further Resources

Experimental Studies of Driver Cognitive Distraction Caused by Cell Phone Use

Driven to Distraction : FAQ

Understanding Cognitive Distraction – Distracted Driving FAQ: Video

I have been representing victims of serious personal injuries for 18 years. I wrote Crash Course:The Consumers Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia to help educate car accident victims and their familes so they can have a better chance of receiving full and fair compensation.

One Response to “Nova Scotia Car Accident Claims – Hands Free Cell Phones Don’t Reduce Traffic Risks”

December 31, 1969 at 6:00 pm, Irene Carlson said:

Yes I totaly agree with you views

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