Many states across the country have enacted laws that make it illegal to use cellphones while driving. Within these laws, there is likely terminology that allows drivers to use hands-free options to still use the phone. This might seem like a safer option, but it truly isn’t. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), hands-free options aren’t risk free.

There are three primary forms of distractions that drivers contend with – manual, visual and cognitive. Cellphone usage requires all three of those functions, so it is a major distraction. The use of a hands-free option on the phone means that the driver won’t have to hold the phone, but that’s the only real change.

Even if a driver is using a hands-free option, they still have to think about what’s being said or what needs to be said. That’s a cognitive distraction, which is dangerous because the mind can only process one task at any given time. Plus, using the phone narrows the field of vision because drivers who are talking on the phone can miss up to 50% of what’s happening around their vehicle.

AAA conducted a study to determine the safety of hands-free devices. It, along with more than 30 other studies, found that there really isn’t a safety increase when you put hands-free options up against handheld devices.

The one thing that can’t be disputed is that distracted driving can be deadly driving. For the victims of these crashes, seeking compensation can help shift the financial responsibility to the liable parties. You only have a limited time to do this in North Carolina, so be sure to act quickly if you’re the victim in a distracted driving crash.