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VIDEO: Do Hands-Free Devices Actually Promote Safer Driving?


VIDEO: Do Hands-Free Devices Actually Promote Safer Driving?

We are often told that when behind the wheel of a vehicle, we should use a hands-free device when receiving incoming calls. In that way, both your hands are on the steering wheel instead of juggling between it and holding your mobile phone (terribly unsafe by the way).

However, what if the distraction so much as holding the phone but the phone call itself?

Which is where the Mythbusters team comes in: they’re here to test the myth: Do hands-free devices promote safer driving?

In their first experiment, both Jamie and Adam (the hosts of the show) attempt navigate themselves around a course while answering a series of questions over the phone either with the phone in their hand or using a hands-free device.

The questions asked are meant to stimulate certain parts of the brain to replicate an everyday situation. In both their attempts, they failed to hit a minimum pass score imposed by a driving instructor.

Which brings us to the second part of their testing at the Stanford University Automotive Innovation Facility and their state-of-the-art driving simulator, where 30 volunteer drivers are judged on their ability to follow the GPS’ instructions or if they get into an accident while either using a hands-free device for their phones or not. Similarly, they are also asked a series of questions to stimulate various parts of their brains like in a normal conversation.

In the end, the results are pretty evident. Out of the 30 volunteers – 15 hands-full (phone in hand) and 15 hands-free with the former saw a majority (14/15) of them losing their way or crashing into something. The results for the 15 hands-free were shocking as well, with a majority of them (14/15 as well) either missing the GPS’ instructions or crashing into something.

So there you have it, don’t use your phone while driving. Even with a hands-free device, your concentration is split towards making sure your car stays on course as well as maintain the conversation. So keep it short and get the caller to call you back.

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