Hands-Free Devices Do Not Protect Omaha Road Users From Distracted Driving Accidents

Omaha auto accident attorneysMany Omaha drivers have been responsibly addressing the pervasive problem of distracted driving in Nebraska. Public awareness campaigns and advocacy efforts have brought much-needed attention to this important issue, and drivers are responding. Unfortunately, not all of the available countermeasures are actually effective in preventing distracted driving accidents.

It is important for Omaha drivers to understand which methods are truly effective and which merely give them a false sense of security.

The Hidden Dangers of Hands-Free Devices

Many drivers believe that a hands-free device (such as an earpiece, voice dial, or in-vehicle speaker phone) is safe to use while driving. This is simply not supported by research. According to the Insurance Journal, researchers at the University of Sussex found that talking on a hands-free device while driving can be just as dangerous as talking on a handheld device. They explained that conversations (whether conducted by a hands-free or handheld device) can cause drivers to focus their cognitive resources on their devices. This limits the drivers' ability to use their cognitive resources to visualize and process the road ahead.

The study used eye movement tracking to monitor drivers’ visual fields. Distracted drivers were only able to focus on a small region directly in front of them. Undistracted drivers, by contrast, were able to take in a much wider field that made use of their peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is an important tool used to identify and avoid hazards in the roadway.

What is even more concerning amid this growing body of research is the sheer scale of the misconception about hands-free devices. Forbes reported on a public opinion poll which found that 80 percent of respondents erroneously believed hands-free mobile devices were safer than using handheld phones while driving. It also reported that more than 30 studies have reached the same conclusion. It is, therefore, important to spread the message that hands-free is not risk-free.

Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable For Their Actions

Car accident injury victims have the legal right to be compensated for their injuries and financial losses. A negligent driver who causes an accident has a legal obligation to pay for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other financial losses caused as a result of his or her negligence. This compensation is an important legal right that helps injury victims cope with the very real - and often devastating - life changes they experience as the result of a serious car accident. In addition to enforcing legal rights, there is another important reason for auto accident injury victims to file claims against distracted drivers.

An insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit acts as a deterrent to the negligent driver. The unpleasant financial and legal consequences make the defendant less likely to engage in distracted driving behaviors in the future. This protects all road users from suffering similar injuries. Our Omaha auto accident attorneys have seen the devastating effects distracted driving can have on a injury victim for years after an accident occurs. We work hard to reduce distracted driving across Nebraska by holding negligent drivers accountable for their dangerous behavior.

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Ausman Law Firm

9850 Nicholas St., Suite 305
Omaha, NE 68114
Phone: (402) 933-8140
Fax: (402) 913-3471