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Why talking on a phone while driving is still dangerous

Texting and driving is dangerous and you know why: You have to look down to text. What may surprise you, then, is that talking on your phone is also extremely dangerous. This is even true when you're using a hands-free system.

Remember, driver error causes about 94 percent of car accidents. Many documented errors happen when people are on their phones, even if they are using a hands-free device. This has taken thousands of lives.

How can a hands-free system still be distracting, when you can use it and look at the road the entire time? The problem is that you cannot mentally focus 100 percent on two tasks at the same time. You must split your attention, often going back and forth from one task to the other. This does happen quickly -- which is what many people mistakenly call multitasking -- but your brain just can't do two things.

When you're talking on the phone, you still have to think about the conversation. You look for context clues when the other person is talking. You may think about other conversations you have had in the past.

For instance, a simple conversation with your boss about a business trip means you're thinking about what you're both saying, what your schedule looks like, what your family's schedule looks like, when you'll need to leave, what to pack, what the trip means for your career and much more. You're also probably trying to read between the lines to figure out what your boss wants you to say.

All of that distracts you from driving.

Have you been involved in an accident with a driver who was distracted by a cellphone? Make sure you know all of the legal rights that you have.

Source: SafeWise, "Is it safe to use a hands-free device to talk on a cellphone while driving?," accessed June 08, 2018

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