dashboard hazard

Editor’s note: From the June 4, 2019 Roundup — “Distracted driving law takes effect — the Payson Town Council on April 11 approved a new law that bans drivers from using handheld cell phones while behind the wheel. With the new law, it is important to consider the many ways in which our vehicle dashboards can be more distracting than you think!”

Dashboard touchscreens create dangerous distractions for drivers, which is too high a price for the convenience they offer.

It’s more distracting than you think — drivers talking on handheld or hands-free devices can fail to see 50 percent of their surroundings.

Fully 80 percent of drivers mistakenly believe hands-free devices are safer than handheld. Further, 53 percent of drivers believe hands-free features must be safe if built into vehicles.

More than 30 studies show hands-free devices don’t make drivers any safer, the brain remains distracted by the conversation. Studies also show using voice to text is more distracting than texting by hand.

Hands-free features in vehicles can increase mental distraction. Touchscreens are about convenience, not safety.

These common tasks should never be done while driving:

• talking on the phone

• checking email

• posting a social status

• ordering takeout

Vehicle technologies should prevent crashes, not increase their likelihood.

Learn more at nsc.org/justdrive.

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